Politicians, rockers flash Peace sign

Mikhail Gorbachev dishing out charity event award

More Berlinale coverage

BERLIN -- Old school politicians and rock 'n' roll dominated a heavyweight gathering here to mark Monday's charity gala event Cinema for Peace.

Former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev will dish out the charity event's inaugural International Green Film Award, aimed at celebrating achievement in filmmaking on the issues of environmental and climate protection issues.

Leonardo DiCaprio is expected in Berlin on Monday to accept the prize for his efforts and backing in producing "The 11th Hour" from Gorbachev himself.

Gorbachev kept the gathered press entertained Sunday by detailing the story of when he first met U.S. President Ronald Reagan at the height of the Cold War in 1985. He said the first time he met him he called him a capitalist dinosaur while Reagan referred to him as a communist relic. "I had to tell him on the second meeting not to treat me like an subordinate," Gorbachev said. "I told him to either speak to me as an equal or we should forget about meeting further."

He said the context was that the two most powerful countries in the world accounted for more than 85% of the world's nuclear weapons and "we had not met for six years." Eventually, peace broke out between the two men and Gorbachev was instrumental in the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Independent to the Berlinale but staged during it, Cinema for Peace founder Jaka Bizilj said there was no conflict between the two events despite the fact Berlinale organizers asked the Peace people to limit its gala events.

Also rocking up to talk Cinema Peace was former Pink Floyd guitarist Roger Waters. The guitarists expressed a love of Iranian moviemaker Bahman Ghobadi and the emergence of Latin American cinema.

It wasn't long before he was ranting about the Hollywood studios, too.

"Hollywood seems to be trying to maintain its stranglehold on movies with its formulaic rubbish," Waters laughed. "Not all Hollywood movies are crap, just most of them."

The rock star staged Berlin's largest ever concerts when he put on "The Wall Concert in Berlin" in 1990.

Filmmaker Jeremy Gilley and Octogenarian actor Christopher Lee also rocked up to support the event at the Adlon Kempinski Hotel.
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