‘Rabiye Kurnaz,’ ‘Stay Awake’ Wins German Arthouse Film Award – The Hollywood Reporter
Political drama by Andreas Dresen Rabiye Kurnaz and George W. Bush and Jamie Sisley’s USA feature Conscious – which examines the drug addiction afflicting a family – won top honors from the association of German historical theater owners as best theatrical film in the competition and the Generations sections 14plus of Berlinale 2022.
Rabiye Kurnaz and George W. Bush received Berlin’s two top awards on Wednesday night, with star Meltem Kaptan winning the Silver Bear for best performance – Berlin’s most gender-neutral acting title- and Laila Stieler winning the award. Best script. The film follows Rabiye Kurnaz (Kaptan)’s 5-year battle to get her son Murat released from the US military prison at Guantanamo. The fight brings Kurnaz and lawyer Bernhard Docke (played by Alexander Scheer) to the US Supreme Court.
The jury said Dresden had created an “explosive and equally entertaining film” about the fight against injustice. “Dresen opens up popular questions about the rule of law and whether individuals can win the war against Goliath,” they note.
Conscious, which received a special mention from the youth jury of Generation 14plus, proved to be the draw of the crowd at this year’s festival. The film, inspired by Sisley’s own family, examines the struggles of brothers Ethan (Wyatt Oleff) and Derek (Fin Argus) as they try to care for their addicted mother (Chrissy Metz do) played by Michelle).
The jury called Conscious “A powerful and at the same time complex portrait of two young men discovering who they are.” Sisley describes “complex family dynamics… cruelly but tenderly,” they conclude.