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''Shining Through'' at the Berlin Film Festival

”Shining Through” at the Berlin Film Festival — David Seltzer’s newest movie won’t screen at the prestigious festival

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When Twentieth Century Fox executives submitted writer-director David Seltzer’s new Shining Through to the Berlin Film Festival, they had every reason to expect the film would be accepted. But when the prestigious festival opens later this month, the gritty war drama/love story with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith will not be screened, and some supporters think its grim depiction of Nazi Germany is the reason. Focusing on a heroic half-Jewish secretary (Griffith) who, as an Allied spy, infiltrates the home of a Nazi official, and staging reenactments of Hitler Youth rallies, Shining Through was rejected by festival officials because of its ”historical inaccuracies,” says Seltzer, including the fact that the film ”misnames a border crossing in Switzerland.”

”I think they’re eager to put this period behind them,” says Seltzer, who lensed the film in Berlin. ”They don’t want to remind the world of Nazis.”

But festival organizing chief Werner Gondolf says, ”Anyone who cares to look over our programs will find many films about the war and Nazis,” citing a recent film retrospective about the end of World War II and the German-made documentary about the Nazi reign, The Yellow Star, that screened at the festival. ”There is no political influence at work in the Berlin Film Festival.”