Berlinale Opening: Disinvitation of AfD Politicians
In response to intense public debate and internal discussions, the Berlinale directors have decided to revoke invitations to five AfD politicians, a right-wing extremist party, for the festival's opening. This decision reaffirms the Berlinale's commitment to a free, tolerant society and opposition to right-wing extremism, which are integral to its identity. The festival denounces rising anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and discriminatory attitudes in Germany. Given recent revelations of anti-democratic positions within the AfD, the Berlinale directors emphasize the importance of standing firmly for open democracy. The AfD's ideologies, including demands for a homogeneous society, immigration restrictions, and historical revisionism, are fundamentally at odds with democratic values. The Berlinale's disinvitation reflects its dedication to taking a clear stance against the rise of right-wing extremism in political spheres. This decision underscores a broader societal debate on how to engage with the AfD, involving democratic parties and organizations beyond the Berlinale.