Laura Linney

Berlin Film Festival kicks off with Nazi-jazz film "Django"

A French film about a jazz guitar virtuoso who struggled under the Nazis kicked off the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday, the first of the year's major European movie fests.

"Django," from first-time director Etienne Comar, is the first of 18 movies competing for the festival's top Golden Bear award.

The film, inspired by the story of guitarist Django Reinhardt, portrays the Gypsy musician's life in France under Nazi occupation in 1943. Even as many Roma across Europe were being persecuted and killed in the Nazis' death camps, Reinhardt initially believes that his fame will save him. He plays his guitar in sold-out concert halls in Paris, enjoying his...