Berlin will close the first season of Mov(i)e Activism

Everything is set to start in Berlin. Finally, after travelling through Serbia, Portugal, Croatia and Spain, the caravan of Mov(i)e-Activism Film Festival arrives in Germany. The local organisation team prepared a three-day event on the river Spree. It will feature nine activist stories from different parts of Europe, with different backgrounds as well as contexts.

Why Berlin?

Official Poster of the Berlin Documentary Film Festival Mov(i)e Activism

Berlin seemed like an obvious location to close the first edition of the festival. Its strong activist scene and its influence on initiatives in other countries made it the perfect candidate for the role. Moreover, the Berlin team wanted to make local activists think about ways of helping those with less experience, to inspire them with new stories, and – ideally – to connect them with people who share similar goals. Therefore, some films present a general picture of issues related to the locations that hosted the festival so far. By doing so, the team also wanted to create connections between topics and bring people involved in different projects closer together. In fact, the festival aims to create a network of activists that could help each other by sharing stories, experience and pieces of advice, or even motivate activists from different countries to start common projects.

Day one of the festival: students in action

The event is divided into three days according to the topics of the documentaries. So, for example, the first day is dedicated to students. Firstly, the student population of Coimbra along with its internal divisions will be examined through two different films that talk about ideologically opposed perspectives regarding society and organisation – All Aboard! and Praxis. Then, another movie brings the focus to topics related to the university. The feature film Plenumovie is the story of the blockade of the University of Rijeka, which was an important stage of the biggest students manifestation in Croatia as well as one of the biggest in the region.

Day two: individuals matter

Plenum scene of the documentary film It Happened in the City

The second day of Berlin Mov(i)e Activism brings the individual actions to the centre of the debate. What can an individual person do by itself to make its city a better place to live? What can an observer do for social movements? And how can art participate in a changing society? Three movies and three different topics to analyse. Fighter Against It, It Happened in the City, and Tito on Ice are the documentary films of the second block.

Day three: together we are stronger

The third and last block of movies presents stories about collectives. There are different ways of organising into active groups. Sometimes it can seem natural, but other times it can be really hard. It is especially the case when there are extremely different views and interests involved. In the City talks about such difficulties while getting into a neighbourhood of social houses in the outskirts of Milan. And to close the topic about collectivism, the two anarchist movies, Food Anarchy and Project A. These bring examples of solidarity, ways of rethinking society, means of fighting the war and resisting oppression, but they also raise questions regarding social injustices and the status quo the privileged classes are fighting to maintain.

Extras of the festival

Special guests of the festival will be Zlatko Topić and Helena Ahonen. Furthermore, the festival will start with a tour of the Spreefeld complex. Locals will lead guests through common spaces while explaining the project and the ideas behind it. This part of the event is an incentive to establish a dialogue between members of this co-op housing project and activists visiting the event, and to exchange ideas about finding better alternatives to traditional housing solutions – a hot topic in Berlin in recent years.