The Berlin International Film Festival — or “Berlinale” — came to a close last Sunday with the “Golden Bear” for best film going to the Turkish film Bal [Honey] and the “Silver Bear” for best director going to none other than Roman Polanski for his new political thriller The Ghost Writer.
Writing in the German newspaper Die Welt, the film critic Hanns-Georg Rodek commented on the lack of “bears” for German films. But Rodek found some consolation in the fact that, as he put it, “there is more German [involvement] in some of the prizewinners than might appear at first glance.” Well, Rodek can say that again — and, to be more precise, he might add: more German money. The fact might not be so noteworthy if we were talking about private investment. But the money in question is in fact German public financing — otherwise known as government subsidies.
Polanski’s The Ghost Writer is a case in point. It is just the latest in a long line of dubious English-language cinema blockbusters that have received German public funding.
See my new article on Pajamas Media here.