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This week at the Kino: Reformed skinheads and a Berlin-based comedy

Catch big-hearted Berlin comedy "Datsche", neo-Nazi drama "Skin" and new observational documentaries "Ama-San" and "Normal". Plus a strong possibility of a sneak preview of "Joker", and more happening in the Berlin film world this week.

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Photo courtesy of A24. Skin is out now in Berlin cinemas.

At the risk of sounding like we’re micromanaging your weekend plans, here’s a cheeky suggestion for what looks to be a rainy Saturday evening… Start by joining us at Lichtblick Kino at 17:00 for a screening of Lara Hewitt’s Datsche, which has been touring the festival circuit from Mexico to the US via Berlin’s very own Achtung Film Festival. Set in Berlin, it’s a multicultural comedy with a big heart that’s well worth a watch, and it’ll be followed by a Q&A with the writer-director herself. That still gives you plenty of time to head south to Rollberg Kino afterwards for this weekend’s Creepy Crypt Sneak Preview screening at 22:30. Judging by the “Hahahaha”s they’ve been teasing, there’s every chance you’ll end up catching a preview of Joker… Unless it’s a cruel trick and Creepy Crypt are meaner than we thought! Joker comes out next week and Todd Phillip’s bold reinvention of the character is already one of the year’s most talked about and divisive releases, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to catch an early showing.

Atypical Saturday double-bills aside, this week’s general releases include the aforementioned Datsche, Ang Lee’s misfire of a sci-fi adventure Gemini Man, as well as two observational documentaries. The first is Ama-San, Cláudia Varejão’s intimate portrait of the Japanese “women of the sea”; the second, Normal, sees Adele Tulli contemplate the rigid and generation-spanning mechanisms that define gender in contemporary Italian society. Both have their merits, but the stand-out new release is Guy Nattiv’s Skin. Starring Jamie Bell as a heavily-inked skinhead who attempts to sever ties with his neo-Nazi family, this engrossing drama isn’t a flat-out success but the central performance and the slick direction ensure a suspenseful ride.

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