Political and social films triumph at Berlin Festival

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By Euronews
Political and social films triumph at Berlin Festival
Copyright  Christoph Soeder/Pool via Reuters

Jury president Juliette Binoche handed the award for the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize to Synonymes by Israeli director Nadav Lapid.

The film tells the story of an ex-Israeli soldier who attempts to hide his origins when he moves to France.

It’s based on Lapid’s own experience and explores concepts of nationality and cultural identity.

“The only thing that interests me,” Lapid told Euronews. “Is the truth of the moment: find and dig inside the moment and go as far as possible, and that’s how we worked.”

The Silver Bear from the Grand Jury went to French film director François Ozon for his film "Grâce à dieu".

It’s a the true life story of child abuse in the French Catholic Church, telling how an association of victims took action when the Catholic establishment attempted to cover-up years of abuse by a priest.

“It’s complicated,” said Ozon. “I’d think twice about doing it again because there was a lot of resistance, a lot of violent reactions from people who don’t want this film to be seen so it’s a permanent battle, even if nothing like that of the real victims.”

The best actress award went to Yong Mei and best actor winner to Wang Jingchun for playing a married couple whose life turns bitter after their only son drowns in So Long My Son from Chinese film director Wang Xiao-Shuai.

The awards ceremony marked the end of Dieter Kosslick’s career as Berlinale director after 18 years.

“The jury of the international competition honoured films with political and social critical content,” said Euronews correspondent Wolfgang Spindler. “Strong and committed arthouse films instead of entertrainment. “