Alexandra's Feed
Feb 16, 2014

Asian films win big as Chinese thriller takes top Berlin prize

BERLIN (Reuters) – Asian films were big winners at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday, led by gritty Chinese thriller “Bai Ri Yan Huo” (Black Coal, Thin Ice) about an overweight detective pursuing a serial killer which took the top Golden Bear prize.

Liao Fan, who said he put on 20 kg (44 lb) and drank more alcohol to play the role of detective Zhang Zili, was named Best Actor.

Feb 15, 2014

Chinese thriller “Black Coal, Thin Ice” wins Best Film in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – The gritty Chinese thriller “Bai Ri Yan Huo” (Black Coal, Thin Ice), which features an overweight detective on the trail of a serial killer, won the Golden Bear for best film on Saturday at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Liao Fan, who played detective Zhang Zili, was named Best Actor, while Haru Kuroki won Best Actress for her portrayal of a housemaid in the Japanese film “Chiisai Ouchi” (The Little House).

Feb 14, 2014

Russia accuses EU of seeking “sphere of influence” in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Russia accused the European Union
on Friday of seeking to create a “sphere of influence” on its
borders by pressing Ukraine to choose closer ties with the
Western bloc at the expense of relations with Moscow.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sharpened Russian allegations
of Western interference in its neighbour’s turbulent affairs at
a joint news conference after talks with his German counterpart,
Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Feb 13, 2014

Modern take on Abraham’s sacrifice dissects Turkish village life

BERLIN, Feb 13 (Reuters) – After years focusing on his
visual arts career, Turkey’s Kutlug Ataman has returned to
feature filmmaking with a touching portrait of the pressures and
hypocrisy of village life in his northeastern Anatolian

‘Kuzu’ (The Lamb) uses the occasion of the circumcision of a
young boy, Mert, to explore relations in his desperately poor
family, and how his parents behave under the weight of the
social expectation to roast a lamb for a celebration feast.

Feb 9, 2014

Filipino film highlights dangerous power of social media

BERLIN, Feb 9 (Reuters) – A gay 15-year-old’s heartbreak and
obsession with the social media make for a gripping tale of how
the Internet can drive fragile minds into a dangerous world, in
the Filipino film “Unfriend” shown at the Berlin film festival.

Director Joselito Altarejos takes viewers on a nightmarish
journey with the film’s hero David, who is jilted by his lover
just before Christmas, and turns to the screens of his mobile
phone, iPad and computer in a desperate attempt to prolong his
connection to the 17-year-old Jonathan.

Feb 2, 2014

Iran says nuclear talks failure would be “disaster”

MUNICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister held rare
private talks with his U.S. counterpart on Sunday and said it
would be a “disaster” if Tehran did not turn a provisional
agreement to defuse a decade-old dispute over its nuclear
programme into a permanent deal.

In a sign of the thawing climate between the Islamic
Republic and the West, Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had
held bilateral talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, as
well as with other ministers from the six powers negotiating
with Tehran, during a three-day security conference in Munich.

Feb 2, 2014

U.S. and Iran meet to discuss final nuclear accord

MUNICH, Feb 2 (Reuters) – The foreign ministers of the
United States and Iran held rare private talks in Germany on
Sunday to discuss the next stage in efforts to reach a
definitive agreement to end a decade-old dispute over Iran’s
nuclear programme.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on the sidelines of the Munich
Security Conference to talk about nuclear negotiations between
six world powers and Iran that will resume in Vienna on Feb. 18.

Feb 1, 2014

Ukrainian opposition buoyed by wave of Western support

MUNICH (Reuters) – The opposing sides of Ukraine’s political crisis put their cases to world powers on Saturday, with the opposition buoyed by pledges of support from the West while Ukraine’s foreign minister accused Europe of forcing Kiev into a strategic choice.

Meanwhile the United States and Europe, which held private meetings with the opposition, exchanged angry words with Russia, accusing it of exactly the same thing – strong-arming Kiev into an unpopular alliance.

Jan 31, 2014

Ukraine opposition lobbies West for help against Yanukovich

MUNICH (Reuters) – The Ukrainian opposition urged Europe and the United States on Friday to go beyond vocal support for their fight for more democracy and demand a halt to violence they blame on President Viktor Yanukovich.

Opposition leaders met in Munich on Friday with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and were due to talk with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday.

Jan 29, 2014

Turkey bank chief ignores Erdogan to save reeling lira

ISTANBUL, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Torn between an angry prime
minister railing against an interest rate hike and punitive
markets baying for a rise, Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem
Basci opted for a bold increase in rates that has stunned

On Tuesday morning, he faced a front-page headline “Stand
firm, don’t raise” in Yeni Safak, a paper close to the
government, ahead of an emergency policy meeting, called as the
lira plunged to unprecedented lows.