It is Valentines Day. Perfect day to fall in love with this city! We had a bus tour of Berlin as a film city. As our group is mostly contains film related people, Goethe institute had arranged to take us around in a conducted tour showing us the places where some of the important films from the film history were shot and to tell us, how Berlin could be used as a filming location.
Back in FTII days, or probably even before that, we read in history books, that in 1895 many scientists were working on their own models of film cameras and Germans claim that it was they who managed to find the first workable cinematograph. And to my sheer surprise, the first ever film screening in the world had happened in the building which is right in front of my hotel! Its been few days since we were living here and I didn’t know that it is in the same place where I was staying, first moving images were seen for the first time! What more do you need to fall in love with this city? But Berlin had more to offer. The Life of Others, Run Lola Run, People on a Sunday, James Bond films, many films around Hitler’s life and times etc. were all shot here and I had seen them as textbook cinemas back in FTII. Today I was being taken around the same locations and I was over whelmed. I clicked pictures and more pictures. The difference in this conducted tour was that the tour guide was not just a guide who would remember few things and present it in the best way. Our tour guide was a researcher him self. He was working on his PHD on some art subject. He was a historian! So he would show us few clippings from the film and show us the place where it was shot. It was a wonderful experience.
It’s been a long time since the world war has ended. But people here still remember the horrors of those times. It is painful to see some of the things even today. I wonder how difficult it would have been to the people who lived here in those times. With this extreme cold life can be difficult by it self. Over that, if life is torn apart from wars, I can’t even think how difficult it would be. The memories of Berlin wall still haunt the people here. It’s been just 20 years or so since the wall was brought down. But then, probably it is these things, which make these people so strong. They have taken it all as a challenge and over lived their problems. The people who have suffered the tough time still live in this city. Mostly it is because of same reason, they love life so much. They are serious about life so much. Back in India, I think my generation hasn’t seen difficult times at all. Yes we have poverty and such problems. But when it comes to a national crisis, we have nothing much which bothers us. Probably the last difficult time in Indian history was the emergency on 1975. But then my generation hasn’t seen anything at all. So I wonder if that would be the reason for my generation to be so arbitrary in life.
Anyway, after the tour, we had an elaborate lunch. I have started exploring more possibilities for vegetarians in this city other than simple salad. I had a dish today, which was more like a roti sabzi! The restaurant was nice. But the service was bad. Anyway, we took almost 2 hours eating there. But it was also a nice discussion about various little things amongst the group. Mrs. Kaveeri, the other Indian who reached Berlin yesterday was not with us even today. I was told that she was going to the screening and had meetings lined up. Looks like she already has contacts here at the Berlinale.
After lunch, I was hoping to reach a museum. But after walking a lot, trying the catch the right bus, I failed to manage to get to the museum. I was also a bit tired and feeling bit too cold so I decide to skip the idea of museum and return to the hotel. I have ticket for a film later in the evening if I rest now, may be I will be fine for the screening. So I come back to hotel.
I was using woolen hand gloves and thinner jacket till today. I came to the room, took some rest, and warmed my self with warm water in the bathroom. Slept for one hour and then changed my attire to leather gloves, thick jacket and woolen socks. Now I started towards Zoo Palast Cinema Theater where my screening was to take place. Ah! It felt good now. I was much warmer. But it is so difficult to work with all these cloths on me. I lose the sense of touch in my figures due to the gloves. But, being warm gives so much more energy to walk and work. So I am happy and fresh when I reached the cinema.
It was a simple film from Argentinean director. Film was called, Your Mistake. I enjoyed the film. The crowds too seem to enjoy it. The director and actress of the film were present. They were over whelmed to see the screening with such a large audience. I finish the screening and get back to the train station. At the platform market, I buy a veg burger. It was not great but then filled my tummy for the night. From there it was a simple 15-minute train travel back to the hotel. Now logging the day and back to bed. Looks like, due to cold, I need more rest as it is very tiring experience to walk a little distance in this cold. It was -1 today as shown on TV. Snowing had stopped but was very chilly. I saw the sun for the first time in the morning when I was leaving the hotel. May be it would become warmer during this week.
That’s all for today. Good night.