Berlinale Classics: First Restored Works for Lineup Unveiled

Berlin Film Festival
'The Word'

Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1955 classic 'The Word,' Dominik Graf's 'The Invincibles' from 1994 and Marta Meszaros's 1975 drama 'Adoption,' the first female-directed film to win Berlin's Golden Bear, are among the films.

The Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled the first titles for its 2019 Berlinale Classics lineup of digitally restored film classics.

Pristine, newly restored versions of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Danish drama The Word, the 1975 Hungarian feature Adoption and The Invincibles, a German drama from 1994 helmed by director Dominik Graf, will have their world premieres in the Berlinale Classics section, which runs as part of the 69th Berlin Film Festival Feb. 7-Feb. 17.

The Word was an instant sensation upon its 1955 release, winning both the Golden Lion in Venice and a Golden Globe for best foreign-language film the same year. One of only four major features Dreyer ever completed, The Word cemented his reputation as one of Europe's greatest filmmakers. Its stark black-and-white imagery and quiet, powerful tale of a Danish village populated with odd religious obsessives, is considered one of the most influential works of European art house cinema.

Adoption from Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros, won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 1975, the first time a female director was so honored. Her social drama follows Kata, a 40-something factory worker who decides to adopt a baby from a home for neglected children.

“I am especially pleased to be presenting Adoption, the magnum opus of one of Europe’s greatest female directors, in immaculate picture and sound quality,” said Rainer Rother, head of the Berlin's Retrospective section, which organizes the Berlinale Classics. “Marta Meszaros was a pioneer of auteur films, and her work inspired not least of all many of the German women filmmakers whom we are honoring in this year’s Retrospective.”

Graf's The Invincibles is the youngest of the three Berlinale Classics titles, but has rarely been seen since its 1994 release. The thriller tells a story a political corruption and money laundering focused on the “invincible” head of SWAT-style police special unit, played by Herbert Knaup. Graf's film will be screened in a special director's cut, with an additional minutes minutes of original material added to the 1994 version.

Berlin will announce the final three titles to screen in the 2019 Berlinale Classics sidebar in January.