by Shelly Schoeneshoefer
One of things I look forward to when going to the Berlinale is seeing all the various items that they have for sale. Normally, as you walk around Berlin, you would see the tote bags everywhere. This year was different. As I checked out the items for sale, such as T-shirts, sweat shirts, videos, lunch boxes, computer pads and wall hangers, I checked out the small, red, cloth tote bag which didn’t seem very special in contrast to its former self. I also noticed fewer tote bags walking the streets and when I saw one, it was often a vintage piece. Each year the festival has different bags with different designs. Some of the bag designs were purple, black patent or beige with white and red with cool white circles. They were made usually out of a hardy material that could withstand snow, rain and a load of paper work. This year’s bag was a thin, red, cloth bag with black snaps that didn’t even work. I was afraid to put my laptop and paper work in there since it looked like it couldn’t hold the weight. Looks like this bag represents the current financial crisis but wait—didn’t the Berlinale sell over 300,000 tickets? Is the Tote Bag tot? I hope that next year they come up with a better bag with an artistic design which is worthy of this great festival. The tote bag is definitely a walking advertisement that takes the festival to the streets.