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Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 6:15 pm PT
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Wed, Apr 17 at 7:00 pm
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
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Mon, Apr 22 at 1:00 pm
Roxie Theater


Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport ceased operations in 2008, but reopened in 2015 as an emergency refugee camp. Tackling the refugee crisis in a brand-new way, director Karim Aïnouz (Madame Sata, Festival 2003) covers a year of life at Templehof, capturing the day-to-day experiences and struggles of residents and aid workers with rare intimacy and empathy. Though the documentary is deeply humanistic, Aïnouz is also alert to the remarkable topography and unique architecture of the airport and the irony of its status as a holding place for people who have nowhere to go. Winner of the Amnesty International Film Prize at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival.

“Karim Aïnouz achieves the perfect balance between people and locale in Central Airport THF, a rare observational documentary that recognizes the beauty of spatial forms without forgetting the individuals who inhabit those voids. Struck by the irony that Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport, a place of transit amplified by Nazi dreams of grandeur, is now used as a refugee center, the Berlin-based director combines his superb compositional eye with an empathetic glimpse of the lives of a few people living and working in the center.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety

Director Karim Aïnouz

Karim Aïnouz made his feature debut with Madame Sata (Festival 2003), followed by I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You (2009) and Futuro Beach (2014). He contributed segments to the documentaries Venice 70: The Future Reloaded (2013) and Cathedrals of Culture (2014), directed the documentary short Sunny Lane (2008), and made a TV movie documentary Diego Velázquez ou le réalisme sauvage (2015). Central Airport THF is the Berlin-based Brazilian’s first documentary feature. Of the genre, he says, “We are living a very, very exciting time in the realm of audiovisual practices. And we are living very dark times politically in the world. Nothing beats the real, for the better and worst.”

Film Details

Year 2018

Language Arabic, German, English

Runtime 97

Country Germany/France/Brazil

Director Karim Aïnouz

Producer Felix von Boehm

Editor Felix von Boehm

Cinematographer Juan Sarmiento G.

Music Benedikt Schiefer

Original Language Title Zentralflughafen THF