Japanese indie film Shoplifters wins top prize at Cannes

Hirozaku Kore-eda took the festival's highest honour
Hirozaku Kore-eda took the festival's highest honour
By Mark Armstrong
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The runner-up Grand Prix was awarded to U.S. director Spike Lee for his anti-racism film BlacKkKlansman


The top prize at the Cannes Film Festival went to Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, for a film about a family of petty criminals who take in a child they find on the street.

“It’s amazing to bring this gift back to the whole team, to all those who stayed in Japan," Kore-eda told euronews. "When I learned it was the Palme d’Or I was stunned, it’s amazing. Now I have to come back to the real world, and continue to pour all my heart into my work as a filmmaker and make films that continue to have integrity.”

In a ceremony punctuated with references to women, the actress Asia Argento suggested there might be more Harvey Weinsteins in the room. She alleges the disgraced producer raped her at Cannes in 1997.

Second prize went to Spike Lee for BlacKkKclansman, which tells the true story of a black detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1970s Colorado.

Lebanese actor-turned-director Nadine Labaki took home third prize for Capharnaum, set in Beirut’s poorest slums and lauded for the performances of its non-actor children.

"This kind of platform, this kind of recognition I think will help that voice resonate even wider," said Labaki. "Even if it sounds naive saying can this film change something in real life? I don't know, but if it's able to open the debate, maybe it's a start."

Best actress went to Kazakh Samal Yesly-amova for her powerful and difficult performance in Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Ayka.

“I was so happy to work with this director," said Yesly-amova. "I am so grateful to him because I only got this prize because of him and his work.”

Italian Marcello Fonte took home the award for the best male actor. He plays a criminal world underdog in Matteo Garrone’s Dogman.

“I feel recognised, it’s like everything I’ve worked at up until now has been recognised," said Fonte. "I was worried about where I was going but this prize is proof that I was on the right track.”

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