At the Berlin Film Festival, Hollywood star Steven Spielberg (76) called for people to continue fighting anti-Semitism. The US director was awarded the Honorary Golden Bear for his life's work in Berlin on Tuesday evening. During the award ceremony, many people in the hall stood up and clapped for the filmmaker.
Spielberg said he owed a lot to German cinema. He was inspired by directors such as Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Ernst Lubitsch, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Margarethe von Trotta, Wim Wenders, Wolfang Petersen, Volker Schlöndorff and Tom Tykwer. "My work is somehow at home in Germany."
This is particularly meaningful to him because he is a Jewish film director, Spielberg said. It takes tremendous effort to heal the wounds. The director recalled the sentence that the opposite of justice is not injustice, but forgetting. "You can only heal historical wounds by remembering."
That's why he founded the Shoah Foundation to collect documents and contemporary witnesses about the atrocities of the genocide from around the world. A huge archive is now available, said Spielberg. "Germany has done a lot to deal with xenophobia, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust." Many countries could learn from Germany's determination that something like this will never happen again. At the same time, Spielberg warned against easy oblivion: "No country should sit back and righteously."
Bono: "Steven Spielberg is the soul of cinema"
U2 singer Bono described Spielberg in a laudation as the greatest of the greats in Hollywood. "Steven Spielberg is the soul of cinema." Bono compared the director to his historical figures. "He's been digging up the past for decades to see what that means for the present." Spielberg's films include Jaws, ET the Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and West Side Story.
Spielberg was accompanied in Berlin by his wife Kate Capshaw. He thanked him during the award ceremony and also said during his speech: "I have to admit that I'm really scared of bears. Even more scared than sharks." Then his new film "The Fabelmans" was shown. The autobiographical story tells of the childhood and youth of a son of Jewish parents in the USA in the 1950s and his beginnings as a filmmaker. The film is scheduled to hit German cinemas on March 9th.