Shoplifters directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu wins the 2018 Golden Palm at Cannes
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Out of a very decent crop of auteur films in the 71st Cannes Film Festival, the jury chose a well-rounded work showing a picture of about a family struggling to make ends meet in Japan, Shoplifters, directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu. All of the winners take hard swipes at society in their own countries and more broadly, in the world.
Palm d'Or, the Golden Palm went to Manbiki Kazoku or Shoplifters directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu, his fifth film in competition at Cannes. In a contemporary setting, the warmth in the relations between the well-crafted characters in Shoplifters is reminiscent of 20th century Japanese masters like Mizoguchi and Naruse. Kore-eda has the gift of showing how life can deal an unfair hand, but how humans can, if you think about, even in material hardship, rise to acts of grandeur. Shoplifters follows on neatly from the director's recent The Third Murder. His Like Father, like Son won the Jury Prize at Cannesin 2013.
US director Spike Lee's BlackKlansman, a wry adaptation of a real-life event, about a Black police officer and a Jewish police officer who infiltrate the White supremacist Ku Klux Klan in the US in the 1970s, took the Grand Prize.
Women's rights featured as high as they had done throughout the festival. The Best actress award was announced by Asia Argento.
Before the Jury Chair Cate Blanchett uttered the name of the winner, Argento took her courage in her two hands, and made a personal announcement. She said that at the age of 21, she was raped in Cannes during the festival by US producer Harvey Weinstein.
Visibly determined, the actress said that even after the sex abuse revelations last year which have become known as the 'Weinstein scandal', "and even tonight there are those among you who have to be held accountable for their conduct with women."
Argento went on to announce the winner, Kirghiz actress, Samal Yesyamova, who plays the title role in Ayka, directed by Russian Sergey Dvotsevoy. She plays a young migrant who has travelled to Moscow to give birth.
The film follows her closely as she struggles to earn money doing the most unhygienic work to pay off a debt owed to thugs. The film seeks an explanation for the high number of Kirghiz women who give birth in Moscow, and then give up their child.
It was surely a tough task for the jury to pick just one of the several very strong auteure scenarios this year in the competition. So they chose two of them. Beleagured Iranian director Jafar Panahi's Three Faces jointly won the best screenplay prize with Alicia Rohrwacher's Lazzarro Felice.
Panahi for his most open film in recent years, about three actresses, each belonging to a different generation. One actress, retired is a virtual outcast, a vestige of Iran under the Shah, another leads a successful television career, and the third, is a 'wannabe' who lives in the village.
Her family don't approve of her leaving for the city to become an actress. Panahi's daughter accepted the prize on his behalf as the film maker is under pressure from the authorities and in 2011 he was been banned from making films for 20 years.
Rorhwacher returns to her now familiar universe of rural Italy and weaves another imaginative tale where the wealth-gap is aligned with outdated feudalism. Rural depopulation is not a solution.
Thecountry folk have been oblivious of the way they have been exploited since, it seems, time immemorial. The Italian director had wonthe Grand Prize in 2014 for The Wonders.
One of the highlights of the award ceremony, the Jury requested a special dispensation this year to award a prize to an artist who has "pushed the limits of cinema", to enable the nine judges to give recognition to the work of Jean-Luc Godard in his Livre d'Image, Image Book.
80-year-old Godard is his usual rebellious, revolutionary, intellectual self in a feature which plays with sound levels, colour, and extracts from films. Instead of adapting a book for the screen, Godard turns the screen into book with chapter headings making it easier to read.
Godard had most recently shared the Jury prize in 2014 for his Goodbye to Language with Canadian director Xavier Dolan's Mommy.
Nadine Labaki whose Capharnaum is set in a poor neighbourhood of Beirut won the Jury Prize. Receiving the award, she spared a special thought for the little girl, Cedra Izam who played Sahar, the abused 11 year-old wife, and sister of Zain, the 14 year-old star of the film. She dedicated her award to a long list of people including everyone in her cast and her family.
Pawel Pawlikovsky took the Best Director award for his chilling black and white love story called Cold War which gives an idea of the growing oppression over 30 years of life in Soviet times from after World War Two till the 1970s.
Italian Marcello Fonte was awarded the Best Actor Palm for his role as a man who behaves like a dog in Matteo Garrone's Dogman. A film with a solid script about society which can turn people into monsters. Amazingly, Fonte's performance in Dogman is anything but inhuman.
Terry Gilliam, director of the closing film, The Man who Killed Don Quixote, was applauded loudly at the very start of the ceremony, before his work was screened, simply for being there.
77-year-old Gilliam was hospitalised while Cannes was underway, and the screening of his film on Saturday night depended on a court ruling on May 10th over a rights dispute with a former producer.
- Golden Palm - Shoplifters - Kore-eda Hirokazu
- Grand Prize - BlackKlansman - Spike Lee
- Jury Prize - Carpharnaum - Nadine Labaki
- Special Palm - Jean-Luc Godard - The Image Book
- Best Actor - Marcello Fonte - Dogman directed by Matteo Garrone
- Best Director - Pawel Pawlikovski - Cold War
- Best Screenplay (two winners) - Alicia Rohrwacher - Lazzaro Felice and Nader Saeiva - 3 Faces directed by Jafar Panahi
- Best Actress - Samal Yesyamova - Ayka - directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy
- Camera d'Or (Golden Camera) for First Feature - Girl - directed by Lukas Dhont
- Golden Palm for Best Short Film - All These Creatures - directed by Charles Williams