- Director Dennis Gansel speaks out against Berlin Film Festival’s invitation to far-right party AfD
- Gansel emphasizes the importance of civil resistance and engaging with supporters of the party
- Controversy surrounds the festival’s decision, with over 250 industry professionals signing a petition against it
- The festival stands against right-wing extremism and plans to express this to the AfD
German filmmaker Dennis Gansel, renowned for his work on critically acclaimed films such as The Wave and the TV series Das Boot, has become the most prominent voice to criticize the Berlin Film Festival’s decision to invite members of the far-right party AfD to its opening ceremony. In a statement to Deadline, Gansel expressed his concern about inviting individuals from a party that goes against the festival’s representation of cultural diversity and liberal values. He stressed the importance of civil resistance in the face of rising support for the AfD in Germany.
Gansel’s Caution Against a Ban
While Gansel strongly opposes the invitation of AfD members to the festival, he cautioned against banning the party or its members. He believes that communication and argumentation with AfD supporters, many of whom are protest voters, are essential to prevent further damage to German democracy. Gansel’s perspective reflects the belief that engaging with those who hold contrasting political views is crucial in order to foster a more inclusive society.
Controversy and Opposition
The Berlin Film Festival’s decision to invite AfD members has sparked widespread opposition within the industry. Over 250 professionals in the film industry signed a petition condemning the move. However, the petition has since been taken down out of fear of reprisal against its organizers. The controversy has gained significant attention in German media, shedding light on the festival’s decision and its implications.
The Berlinale, as the festival is also known, has issued a statement reaffirming its stance against right-wing extremism. The festival plans to write to the AfD to express this position “clearly and emphatically.” The invitation to AfD members was allegedly made at the suggestion of German Culture Minister Claudia Roth, who defended the decision.
The Berlin Film Festival’s decision to invite members of the far-right party AfD to its opening ceremony has ignited controversy and drawn criticism from prominent filmmaker Dennis Gansel. While Gansel opposes the invitation, he believes that engaging with AfD supporters through communication and argumentation is crucial in order to protect German democracy. As the festival approaches, the discussion surrounding this decision continues to provoke reflection on the role of politics and inclusivity in cultural events.