20th Berlin International Film Festival

The 20th annual Berlin International Film Festival was supposed to be held from 26 June to 7 July 1970.[1] The festival opened with Klann – grand guignol by Patrick Ledoux.[2] However, on 5 July the competition was cancelled and no major prizes were awarded, due to a controversy surrounding the participation of Michael Verhoeven's anti-war film o.k.[3][4][5]

20th Berlin International Film Festival
DBPB 1970 358 Filmfestspiele.jpg
Festival poster
Opening filmKlann – grand guignol
LocationWest Berlin, Germany
Festival date26 June – 6 July 1970
Berlin International Film Festival chronology


The following people were announced as being on the jury for the festival:[6]

  • George Stevens, director and screenwriter (United States) - Jury President
  • Klaus Hebecker, journalist and film critic (West Germany)
  • David Neves, director, screenwriter and producer (Brazil)
  • Véra Volmane, journalist, writer and film critic (France)
  • Billie Whitelaw, actress (United Kingdom)
  • Alberto Lattuada, director and screenwriter (Italy)
  • Dušan Makavejev, director and screenwriter (Yugoslavia)
  • Gunnar Oldin, journalist and film critic (Sweden)
  • Manfred Durniok, director and producer (West Germany)

Films in competitionEdit

The following films were in competition:

English title Original title Director(s) Country
Days and Nights in the Forest অরণ্যের দিনরাত্রি Araṇyēra Dinarātri Satyajit Ray India
A Test of Violence Stuart Cooper United Kingdom
The Baby in the Tree Baby in de boom Nouchka van Brakel Netherlands
A Baltic Tragedy Baltutlämningen Johan Bergenstråhle Sweden
Black Out Black Out Jean-Louis Roy Switzerland
Borsalino Borsalino Jacques Deray France, Italy
Apart from Life 地の群れ Chi no mure Kei Kumai Japan
Dionysus in '69 Brian De Palma USA
Jackal of Nahueltoro El chacal de Nahueltoro Miguel Littín Chile
El extraño caso del doctor Fausto Gonzalo Suárez Spain
A Swedish Love Story En kärlekshistoria Roy Andersson Sweden
The Conformist Il conformista Bernardo Bertolucci Italy, France
Klann – grand guignol Patrick Ledoux France, Belgium
The Howl L'urlo Tinto Brass Italy
Eden and After L'Eden et après Alain Robbe-Grillet France, Czecholosvakia
A Girl Called Jules La ragazza di nome Giulio Tonino Valerii Italy
The Time to Die Le temps de mourir André Farwagi France
The Inheritors Los herederos David Stivel Argentina
The Prophet of Hunger O Profeta da Fome Maurice Capovilla Brazil
o.k. o.k. Michael Verhoeven West Germany
The Customer of the Off Season אורח בעונה מתה Ore'ach B'Onah Metah Moshé Mizrahi Israel
Of Gods and the Undead Os deuses E Os Mortos Ruy Guerra Brazil
Out of It Paul Williams USA
Rembrandt Outlawed Rembrandt Vogelvrij Ernie Damen Netherlands
Rotocalco Manfredo Manfredi Italy
Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? Rainer Werner Fassbinder West Germany
The Age of the Fish Wie ich ein Neger wurde Roland Gall West Germany


During the screening of the film o.k., the film was interrupted. The jury, presided by American film director George Stevens, decided after a 7-2 vote to demand Berlinale director Alfred Bauer, who was present at the screening, to take the film out of the competition.[7] The jury justified their decision by citing a FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) guideline that said: "All film festivals should contribute to better understanding between nations". This accusation was based on the fact that the film reenacted the 1966 Incident on Hill 192 of the Vietnam War in the Bavarian forest depicting four American soldiers kidnapping, raping, stabbing and shooting a Vietnamese girl named Mao until she finally dies. A fifth soldier on the patrol refuses to take part in the attack on the girl and his report to his commander is buried in the files. Stevens, who had served during the Second World War, claimed that the film was anti-American.[8] One jury member, Dušan Makavejev, protested against this measure, stood up for the film and supported director Michael Verhoeven and producer Rob Houwer.[9] Bauer cited the Berlinale’s status as an "A" festival, which meant that an accepted film could not be excluded from the competition. This was followed by altercations between the leadership of the Berlinale and Stevens, and between the Berlin and international press.[10] During a press conference, Verhoeven defended his film by stating in these terms: "I have not made an anti-American film. If I were an American, I would even say my film is pro‐American. The biggest part of the American people today is against the war in Vietnam".[7] Other directors that were taking part in the festival withdrew their films in protest. The jury was accused of censorship and eventually disbanded, therefore no prizes were awarded and the competition was suspended.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "20th Berlin International Film Festival". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  2. ^ Wolfgang Jacobsen: 50 Jahre Berlinale - Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, page 165 – Nicolai, Berlin 2000. ISBN 3-87584-905-1
  3. ^ Wolfgang Jacobsen: 50 Jahre Berlinale - Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, page 170 – Nicolai, Berlin 2000. ISBN 3-87584-905-1
  4. ^ "Berlinale 1970: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Berlinale beginnings". 8 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  6. ^ "JURIES 1970". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b "WAR FILM DROPPED BY BERLIN FESTIVAL". The New York Times. West Berlin. 3 July 1970. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  8. ^ Langford, Michelle (2012). Directory of World Cinema: Germany. Vol. 9. Bristol, UK / Chicago, USA: Intellect Ltd. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-84150-465-0.
  9. ^ "O.K. in the Forum Anniversary Programme". Berlinale. 4 February 2020. Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  10. ^ "O.K." arsenal-berlin.de. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Berlinale looks back on 60 years of war, scandal and glamour". Deutsche Welle. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2020.

External linksEdit