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South Korean Film Parasite Wins Palme d’Or At Cannes

South Korean

Special Correspondent Malti Sahai

Cannes: South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s social inequality drama Parasite, a stinging comment on the widening gap between the rich and the poor today, won the Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival.

Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Inarritu, the president of the competition jury of the Cannes festival this year, announced the winner of the festival’s top honour at a glittering closing ceremony tonight attended by the Who’s Who of global film industry. There were no Indian films in official selection of the Cannes festival this year. The last Indian film to compete for the Palme d’Or was Malayalam director Shaji N Karun’s Swaham in 1994.

Parasite tells the story of a family of four struggling to survive in their basement home. Bong’s previous film Okja was a contender for the Palme d’Or in 2017. The nine-member competition jury this year included four women, including Burkina Faso actor-director Maimouna N’Diaye and Italian director Alice Rohrwacher.

Among the films vying for the Palme d’Or this year were Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Pain and Glory’ and American director Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood’. The prestigious competition section of the Cannes festival had 20 films this year. Japanese film ‘Shoplifters’ directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda had won the Palme d’Or last year. The Grand Prix, the second biggest prize after the Palme d’Or, went to the surreal drama ‘Atlantique’ by Senegalese-origin French director Mati Diop.

The Jury Prize was shared by French film ‘Les Miserables’ by Ladj Ly and Brazilian film ‘Bacurau’ by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles. The Best Direction prize was bagged by the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for ‘Young Ahmed’, about radicalisation of a 13-year-old boy.

Antonio Banderas was adjudged the Best Actor for his role as an ailing filmmaker in Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s semi-autobiographical movie ‘Pain and Glory’. British actor Emily Beecham won the Best Actress award for ‘Little Joe’ directed by Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner. The award for the Best Screenplay was bagged by French filmmaker Celine Sciamma for her 18th century tale of a romantic encounter between two young women in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’.

Among the presenters at the awards ceremony were American actor Sylvester Stallone and celebrated documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s ‘It Must Be Heaven’, a humour-filled tale of identity and belonging, won a Special Mention from the Inarritu-headed jury. The Palme d’Or for the Best Short Film in competition was won by ‘The Distance Between Us and the Sky’ by Greek director Vasilis Kekatos. Argentinian short film ‘Monstruo Dios’ by Augustina San Martin won a Special Jury Mention.

The Camera d’Or award for the Best First Feature Film of a director went to ‘Our Mothers’ by Guatemalan filmmaker Cesar Diaz about his country’s civil war in the ’80s. ‘Our Mothers’ was part of the Cannes parallel section, Critic’s Week. Brazilian film ‘The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao’ by Karim Anouz was the winner of Un Certain Regard Prize. Italian actor Chiara Mastroianni won the Best Performance award in Un Certain Regard section for her role in French director Christophe Honore’s ‘On a Magical Night’.

The International Critics’ Prize awarded by the FIPRESCI jury went to Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s ‘It Must Be Heaven’ in the competition section. The Cannes festival, which began on May 14, concluded tonight with the Last Screening film of the festival, ‘The Specials’ directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.

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