Berlin According to Documentarian Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky - Getty - H 2019
George Pimentel/Getty Images

A world-renowned still photographer, Burtynsky returns to the fest as co-director of 'Anthropocene: The Human Epoch,' a documentary about humankind's harmful impact on the environment.

Favorite Berlin moment?

I spent a day with an incredible tour guide. This was in advance of a shoot I was doing for the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa. We toured the Libeskind-designed Jewish Museum, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Track 17 Memorial and a number of other moving sites.

As a photographer, what stands out to you most about Berlin?

Berlin has a uniquely haunting nature, symbolic of a problematic system that was created to oppress and divide a nation. As much as the city has largely been reborn, there are still potent reminders, such as the Stolpersteine (stumbling stones), the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, traces of the Wall’s footprint, its remaining fragments and the Holocaust memorial.

The one place you have to go while in Berlin?

The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art houses some wonderful works by two of my favorite artists, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter.

In Berlin you should never … ?

Leave without eating some of the city’s delicacies. One of my favorite meals in Berlin during the 2014 Berlinale was at the city’s oldest restaurant, the Zur Letzten Instanz, where we had roasted Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle).

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 7 daily issue at the Berlin Film Festival.