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The Freedom Gene: How to Remain an Optimist

14.02.2017 - Agnieszka Holland, Anne Lakeberg

In “post-truth” times, storytellers in cinema are faced with the challenge to redefine their roles as purveyors of truths – critical and activistic voices – while keeping a positive attitude and good humour. Polish director Agnieszka Holland, one of Europe’s most prolific advocates for free-spirited cinema and also a regular director of TV-series (House of Cards), joins the Berlinale with her bloody smart thriller Spoor in Competition. Holland can compare filmmaking in Poland of the 1970s versus today, optimistically remarking on the creative potentials and contradictory freedoms she experienced working both under censorship then, and internationally in a likewise complicated industry now.


Agnieszka Holland

photo of Agnieszka Holland
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1948, she graduated from the FAMU Film School in Prague and began her career assisting Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda. She collaborated with Krzysztof Kieslowski on the screenplay of his trilogy, Three Colors. Her film Gorączka screened in Competition at the Berlinale in 1981, the year in which she emigrated to Paris. Since then she has made over 30 films, winning awards including the Emmy, Golden Globe, Golden Lion and BAFTA. Her films In Darkness, Europa Europa and Bittere Ernte (Angry Harvest) were all nominated for an Oscar®.

Anne Lakeberg

photo of Anne Lakeberg
For over four years, Anne Lakeberg, together with Wiebke Thomsen, has successfully run the arthouse City Kino Wedding in Berlin, a glamorous 1960s cinema built by the French occupation forces. She studied Sociology and Latin American Studies with a focus on film in Bielefeld and Buenos Aires, earned a degree in cinema management and worked in film distribution. She is a member of the Berlinale Competition selection committee and will serve as a host during this year’s Berlinale Goes Kiez.