Touch Me Not, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, not only touches on the subjects of the body, sexuality, and intimacy; it really is touching. In one scene, a sex coach punches the protagonist in the chest-Adina Pintilie's film hits us in exactly the same way. How we respond depends on us, on our relationship to our own bodies: whether we cry out, start sobbing, retreat or feel ashamed. The film's protagonists include Laura (Benson, Dangerous Liaisons), Tómas (Lemarquis, known from Dagur Kári's Nói Albinói) and an "amateur actor" named Christian (Bayerlein). One is a mature woman with sadness and anger bottled up in her shell of a body, and the other two are young men, one completely hairless, the other suffering from muscular dystrophy and confined to a wheelchair. In an interview with Piotr Czerkawski for Filmweb, Pintilie stressed that, Although they all use their real names in the film, they shouldn't be seen as presenting a complete picture of their own self on-screen. At best, they are portraying variations of themselves. The world that the director invites us into and in which the most important role is played by touch makes us rethink the categories of beauty, attractiveness and norms. The young Romanian director's debut is an incredibly bold, fascinating mixture of documentary, psychological drama, feature film, and performance art. It is something to be experienced rather than watched. Films rarely deal with the body in such an open and mature way, leaving that to pornography instead. Pintilie brings this back to us, the viewers, so that we can finally feel, understand, and love our neglected, shame-inducing bodies.
Berlin IFF 2018 – Best Film (Golden Berlin Bear)
This Romanian artist and director graduated from the Caragiale University of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography in Bucharest in 2008. Her films have won several awards including the Zonta Prize at the 2013 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen for Diary #2. Poised on the border between fiction, documentary and fine art, her work is characterised by a highly individual visual style, the courage to experiment with visual language and an uncompromising exploration of the human psyche. Since 2010 she has been the curator of the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (BIEFF).
2007 Don't Get Me Wrong (doc.)
2008 Sandpit #186 (short)
2010 Oxygen (short)
2013 Diary #2 (short)
2018 Touch Me Not