If you want to attend the Berlinale and don’t have a clue what to see, a sure bet is to go to the Generation Section. If you read that this is the children’s section, you might think that you don’t want to see a kid’s film, but I can assure you that you should go. This section is not just kid’s films, but about seeing the world from a child’s perspective. The director of this program Maryanne Redpath always has a challenging collection of films that really push the borders, where you might see a film on a child bride, children in the middle of a war, or even a child who wants to make a dream come true. The films are always surprising and done in a way that expresses the inner spirit of a young person’s world.
In two children's film this year the color pink plays a pivotal role where something new is about to change. The Swedish film Siv Sleeps Astray (Siv Sover Visle), directed by Catti Edfeldt and Lena Hanno Clyne, transports us into Siv's (Astrid Lindgren) world. She is a seven-year-old about to be confronted with something new, strange and different. We observe her in her safe home environment in the countryside. The colors are subdued almost to a point of grey. We see her attending school where usually unexpected things can happen. The wild red-headed girl Cerisia,( Lilly Brown) in a beautiful fluffy pink coat struts onto the playground with such confidence that the other kids are taken aback by her presence. The coat really stands out as a symbol of the unknown, but at the same time it is pleasing to the eye. Although at first Siv appeared to be shy, she has the spunk to take on this stranger as a new friend. She even agrees to spend the night at this strange new girl's house, a new experience for her: the first time she has spent the night away from home. The apartment has a bold style filled with unusual designer objects. The family behaves completely differently with a new set of rules. Siv is surprised that people are allowed to act so differently. The most traumatizing moment in the film is the act of going to bed. She becomes agitated and Cerisia doesn’t help or understand the problem. In fact she exasperates it by making Siv sleep on the mattress on the floor instead of in the bed where her mother put her first. Siv is afraid to sleep because she knows things happen in the dark. This night starts out with crazy animated creatures, wallpaper that moves and doorways that open new passage ways. But by the end of the night she has become more courageous and is ready to deal with Cerisia on her own level. Every child has to learn to deal with the unknown and conquer fears.
In the Kurdish film Rauf by Baris Kaya and Soner Caner, the eleven-year old boy falls for a young woman, Zana, whose father is a carpenter. Rauf’s world is tough. There is war and he has now dropped out of school and has to take on the apprenticeship with the carpenter, who has a daughter much older than Rauf. That still doesn’t deter him from showing her his affection. He tries in his childish way to get close to her and asks if she would like something from the market. She replies she would love a scarf that is pink and has flowers on it. This sends him on a quest for the color pink, a strange color, which everyone seems to know about except him, which nobody can seem to describe to him, which is quite frustrating. In the background there are rumors of war. He sees that she often receives letters, which he perceives as love letters, but, one day, she is gone and her father is left grieving. By the time Rauf realizes that the color pink represents flowers in bloom, he has grown up to understand love and loss. This anti-war film, which takes a look war though the eyes of children and how they try to create a secure world around them where they can hold off the tough realities of life. Both films use color to show how beautiful life can be even if it lasts only for a moment, like a flower in full bloom before the season begins to change.