Is Standstill Forbidden? – The Sort of "Progress" Cinema Needs

Opening Conference

The Berlinale is about to begin – with a focus on working conditions within the film industry. The newly formed German government, in their coalition agreement, have vowed to "Dare more progress”. It’s a statement that was proclaimed often throughout the pandemic, especially within the cultural sphere: to never again go back to the old normal! For two years now, diffuse promises and differing concepts of progress – ideas that land somewhere between capitalism and social revolution – have been floating in the ether, and with them the hope that society and art might gain new knowledge or insights from the standstills mandated during the recurring lockdowns. For in these standstills, social routines are suspended. The term itself calls to mind the threat of stagnation; at the same time, it invites a casual refusal of productivity. But is this state of standstill really the seedbed of change? Regression, revolution or deceleration – where will the journey lead?

At the opening conference of Berlin Critics’ Week, two panels and two lectures will explore the paradoxical site of tension between dreams of progress and a society that has hit pause. We want to discuss how the notion of a progressive cinema and a progressive film culture currently stand, and how they relate to the most recent manifestations of these standstills in society.


Welcome: Thomas Heise (filmmaker, Director of the Film and Media Arts Section)

Simone Baumann (Managing Director of German Films, producer)
Cíntia Gil (curator)
Douglas Gordon (artist)
Rahel Jaeggi (philosopher)
Nadav Lapid (director, Synonymes)
Kevin B. Lee (filmmaker, media artist, and critic, „Transformers: The Premake“)
María do Mar Castro Varela (political scientist, professor of education and social work)
Laila Pakalniņa (filmmaker, scriptwriter, Spoon, Dream Land)
Eva Sangiorgi (Festival Director of the Viennale)
Georg Seeßlen (author and critic)

Wednesday, 9 Feb 2022

7 pm

Pariser Platz

Plenary Hall

Opening conference to "Berlin Critics' Week"

Welcome: Thomas Heise

With Simone Baumann, Cíntia Gil, Douglas Gordon, Rahel Jaeggi, Nadav Lapid, Kevin B. Lee, María do Mar Castro Varela, Laila Pakalniņa, Eva Sangiorgi and Georg Seeßlen

Doors: 6.30 pm

The event will be held in English

€ 6/4


Tel.: (030) 200 57-1000

Further information

Woche der Kritik