In Germany, more than two hundred professionals linked to the world of cinema, most of them German, have signed an open letter protesting against the invitation of two politicians from the far-right party AfD, Alternative for Germany, to the awards ceremony opening of the Berlinale on 15 February. The invitation “is incompatible with the festival’s commitment to being a place of empathy, awareness and understanding”, denounce the signatories. “We refuse to normalize or allow right-wing politicians to participate in our spaces”. The document also recalls that in 2019 the festival organization had published a statement in which it spoke out against “right-wing populism”.
The position of the Berlinale organizing committee
It was the festival’s organizing committee that confirmed, to the American media in the sector, Deadline and Variety, that the festival, which this year celebrates its 74th edition, will host two AfD politicians, Ronald Glaser and Kristin Brinker, at the opening ceremony. The festival indicated that the AfD has deputies in both the Parliament and the House of Representatives in Berlin, which “is a fact and we must accept it as such”, while recalling that “the Berlinale is for fundamental democratic values and against right-wing extremism and supports all demonstrations and other initiatives against anti-democratic tendencies.” Last month, representatives of the German party, which is currently leading the way in polls on voting intentions, attended a meeting in Potsdam , near Berlin, with the leader of the Austrian right-wing Identitarian Movement and neo-Nazis where plans to expel millions of foreigners from the country were discussed. Since then, in Germany there has been a wave of mobilizations in various cities to try to oppose the spread of the formation. According to police data, yesterday in Berlin around 150,000 people demonstrated against the far right and there were demonstrations with tens of thousands of people also in several other cities. New marches are also planned for today.