Berlinale opens with Belgian film starring Cillian Murphy
Small Things Like These, an Irish-Belgian co-production directed by Belgian director Tim Mielants and starring Cillian Murphy, will open the Berlin International Film Festival, the Flemish Audiovisual Fund announced on Thursday.
Set in rural Ireland in 1985, the story offers a chilling look at the history of the Catholic church's institutionalisation of Irish women in Magdalene laundries from the 1820s to 1996. It explores the role of the individual in holding the institution to account.
Murphy plays coal merchant and father Bill Furlong. The Irish actor previously worked with Mielants on the hit series Peaky Blinders. The rest of the cast includes Eileen Walsh, Michelle Fairley and Emily Watson.
"We believe that this story, which combines kindness towards the weak with the will to fight injustice, will resonate with everyone"
"We believe that this story, which combines kindness towards the weak with the will to fight injustice, will resonate with everyone," said Carlo Chatrian, artistic director of the Berlinale.
The 74th edition of the Berlinale will take place from 15-25 February. So far, 10 Belgian films have been selected for the festival, including An Invincible Summer by Arnaud Dufeys and Young Hearts by Anthony Schatteman, a Belgian-Dutch co-production.
A number of co-productions with a Flemish flavour will also be screened. These include Vos en Haas redden het bos by Mascha Halberstad, Tongo saa (Rising at Night) by Nelson Makengo and Xio ban jie (The Great Phuket) by Yaonan Liu.
Ddirector Benjamin Deboosere has been invited to the Berlinale Talents and Skunk star Thibaud Dooms is among the 10 European Shooting Stars who will be introduced to the press and industry at the festival.
The release date of Small Things Like These in Belgium has not yet been announced.
#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO ROBYN BECK / AFP