Review of the year: Europe's diversity shines through its cinema

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By Frédéric Ponsard  & Mario Bowden
Review of the year: Europe's diversity shines through its cinema
Copyright  euronews

This year, Europe unveiled its strengths in its diversity through its cinema. As part of Euronews' "Review of the year series", we look back at some of the movies that caught our eye and held our attention.

Triangle of Sadness

One of the standout movies to dominate the European film landscape was Ruben Östlund's Triangle of Sadness. Picking up both the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival and this year’s European Film Awards (EFA) top prize, Östlund added to his EFA tally – after picking up the award in 2017 for The Square.

The film tells the story of a luxury cruz that turns into a shipwreck. In typical form, Östlund ferocious satire peaks behind the curtain (and makes fun) of the über rich.

It also picked up three other awards at the EFA in Reykjavík – European Director, Screenwriter, and Male Actor (Croatian-Danish Zlatko Buric).

El Buen Patron

On the same night, the European Award for Best Comedy went to Spain's Fernando León de Aranoa for El Buen Patrón (or The Good Boss). Spanish actor Javier Bardem plays a factory boss and husband – who juggles problems faced by his employees while making his own.

Alcarràs

Also nominated for best film in Reykjavík was Alcarràs by Catalan director Carla Simón. Although not bringing home the top prize, it did manage to bang the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Simón’s film deals with issues of male domination and patriarchy.

"With Alcarràs we reflected a lot on the issue of gender roles, because of course, it seems that now we are in this moment where stories with women have to be about feminist, empowered women. But there are places where this has not yet arrived. And that’s the case of certain rural communities, where the patriarchal system, let’s say, is still very present, where this toxic masculinity still exists,” Simón says.

Piccolo Corpo

The European Discovery Prize, the FIPRESCI Prize, was selected by film critics and the European Film Academy went this year to Piccolo Corpo by Italian director Laura Samani.

The story of a young mother in Friuli at the beginning of the last century who wants to give a burial to her stillborn baby, doomed to limbo by the church.

Boy from Heaven

Tarik Saleh’s Boy from Heaven has been lauded as on par with the 1986 The Name of Rose – and tells of the power struggle between political and religious elites in Egypt.

Speaking to Euronews, the Swedish director with Egyptian origins hopes his thriller can also open new horizons

"For Europeans, to step into the sandals of a muslim that you are afraid of, and walk around, pray, look, hope, be afraid, and fight for your survival, I think it's good because we need to share experience, that what we have to do.”

Boy from Heaven is a co-production between three Scandinavian countries, France and Morocco, and an international success – showing that European cinema now knows how to expand its borders.