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Humboldt Forum Foundation: Box office around the world – Humboldt Forum | 16.08.-31.08.2024

Editors’ Choice

Which films inspire people in Nigeria, Vietnam or Argentina? Which productions are selling out cinemas in Thailand, Brazil and India? On three weekends in August, the Humboldt Forum Foundation at the Berlin Palace presents great cinema from these six countries with the Box Office Around the World film festival. Current films that are blockbusters in their countries of origin but have not yet been shown in Germany will be screened in the open air in the Schlüterhof. Following the successful launch of the series last year, film curator Dorothee Wenner has once again put together a diverse programme together with representatives from the Berlin communities. Each film will be preceded by a thematic spotlight in the form of talks or workshops. Guests include the directors Funke Akindele, Luciana Bezerra and the Sensation Dance Team.

Image above: Humboldt Forum Foundation in the Berlin Palace, Photo: Frank Sperling

Unlike Hollywood productions, which are designed for the global market, blockbusters from other regions of the world – current, often unknown – allow insights and perspectives into what is currently moving people in Lagos, Rio or the Mekong Delta. For example, the trials and tribulations of a matriarchal extended family, making contact with the dead with the help of artificial intelligence, a cinematic portrait of three women who are completely trapped in a system of old-fashioned views, or the financial challenges of making a child’s birthday party possible and saving a life at the same time.

Curator Dorothee Wenner: “When films inspire local audiences in their countries of origin, they give people elsewhere in the world the opportunity to learn something special about the realities of their lives that would otherwise be difficult to tell. This makes them precious gifts for people who like to think outside the box.”

On three weekends in August, the Humboldt Forum’s Schlüterhof will become a meeting place for communities and film-loving Berliners from all over the world with this film festival, summer drinks and snacks. The films will be shown for the first time in Germany on the big cinema screen and in the original language with English subtitles.

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Film still from the Argentinian film “Puan” . Copyrights: Valeria Fiorini


India: Stree 2
16 August
8:15 pm: Bollywood dance workshop with the Sensation Dance Team
9 pm: Film screening

Horror comedy
Director: Amar Kaushik
To coincide with the cinema release in India, the Humboldt Forum is showing the sequel to the adventures of Vicky, the “tailor of hearts”, played by superstar Rajkummar Rao. Every year, during the biggest religious festival in Chanderi, the town is haunted by a mysterious woman who makes men disappear at night. Legend has it that jealous men once killed her and her lover – now she seeks revenge. Vicky is chosen to rid the town of this curse with the help of his friends. A mysterious woman, with whom he fell head over heels in love at the last festival and who has since disappeared, could also help him: But will she return for the next festival – and who is she really?

Thailand: The Undertaker (SUP PA RER)
17 August
8 pm: Talk with Mike Piromporn, artist (enquired)
9 pm: Film screening

Written and directed by Thiti Srinuan
This film with a wild mix of genres – a lot of comedy, a little horror, a little “Sopranos” – was a complete surprise and became an audience favourite in Thailand. And is a discovery for anyone who wants to venture on a film trip to a Thailand far off the beaten track. Joed spends the time until his law exams with his father, who works as an undertaker in the province of Isaan. A young woman has hanged herself there and her ex-boyfriend wants to quickly apologise for his bad behaviour before her funeral: by means of astral travel. But he needs the help of the undertaker, who – like many in the village – is a real expert in the world between life and death. Contact is attempted in the traditional way, but also with the help of AI.

Nigeria: A Tribe called Judah
22 August
8 pm: Talk with Funke Akindele (director, main actress and producer)
9 pm: Film screening

Directed by Funke Akindele and Adeoluwa Owu
With this fast-paced crime comedy, Funke Akindele has surpassed all box office records in Nigeria as lead actress, director, screenwriter and producer. Jedidah is an unconventional rickshaw driver in Lagos who has five sons by five men, all from different ethnic backgrounds. Emeka, Adamu, Pere, Shina and Ejiro don’t have much in common apart from their love for their mother, but ‘Ma J’ knows how to keep her clan in line as a street-smart matriarch – until her alcohol consumption necessitates costly kidney treatment. But where does the money come from? The sons are called upon to mobilise all their contacts and decide on extremely risky fundraising measures, because their mother’s life is at stake.

Brazil: A festa de Léo
23 August
8 pm: Discussion with Luciana Bezerra (director)
9 pm: Film screening

Director: Luciana Bezerra, Gustavo Melo
It’s Léo’s 12th birthday and his mum Rita wakes him up with new football boots and kisses. But what follows is anything but a ‘happy birthday’: his father Dudu has stolen the money that Rita wanted to use to finance Leo’s party. Things get even worse when armed creditors threaten Dudu’s life, if not…. A family thriller from Rio in which the notorious Vidigal favela does not play on stereotypes but is staged as a social labyrinth with its very own laws. By and with people who know the favela, with its football pitches and rooftops with the Copacabana on the horizon, so well that they can move cleverly and smoothly in front of the camera.

Filmstill “A Festa de Léo”. Copyrights: Coqueirão Pictures, Filmstill: Mariana Vianna

August: Puan
30 August
19:30: Talk with Leo Sbaraglia, actor (enquired)
20:30: Film screening

Directed by Maria Alché and Benjamin Naishtat
The biting humour of this social comedy, which has been extremely successful in Argentina, has local colour of a special quality that also works beyond its place of origin. Puan is the name of the underground station where the faculty of the University of Buenos Aires is located – and a “cult”. This is how the widow of a philosophy professor who died while jogging describes the institute. Two unequal heroes fight for succession here. Marcelo, the underdog, and Rafael, the cosmopolitan provider, are fighting a duel for the boss’s chair in the midst of a society that has gone off the rails. They are flanked by impoverished academics and their followers, society ladies, feminist activists and a film star. Who will win? The director couple María Alché and Benjamín Naishtat previously attracted attention with their film Rojo.

Vietnam: Glorious Ashes (Tro tàn rực rỡ)
31 August
19:30: Talk with Phương Anh Đào, actress (requested)
20:30: Film screening

Director: Bui Thac Chuyen
Jealousy, spurned love, an arsonist and three women who know exactly what they want – that’s what this village drama from the Mekong Delta is all about. With fantastic images of an unreal, beautiful landscape, the film tells the story of people whose lives are shaped by traditions that they carry on, but against which they simultaneously revolt. Hậu is unhappily married to Dương, who is desperately in love with Nhàn, who in turn lives with an arsonist. The jealousy drama with a surprising outcome takes place under the watchful, curious eyes of the neighbourhood, as do the older Loan’s attempts to free herself from the trauma of rape with unorthodox behaviour. This film is like an immersion in a world where words have little power.

Film still for “Glorious Ashes”. Copyrights: An Nam Productions


16.-31. August 2024


Humboldt Forum
Schlüterhof am Schlossplatz
10178 Berlin


Regular: 8 euro
Reduced: 4 euro

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