Film about Algeria wins César, Polanski wins best director

Reuters/Benoit Tessier

A film about monks kidnapped and murdered in Algeria won best film at the 36th annual César awards, France’s version of the Oscars, held Friday evening. Roman Polanski won best director, and Eric Elmosnino and Sara Forestier won best actor and actress. 


Des Hommes et des Dieux (Men and Gods), directed by Xavier Beauvois, was nominated in eleven categories. It is the story of the Tibéhirine monks who were kidnapped and killed in Algeria in 1996.

Beauvois described the film as a "message of equality, liberty, fraternity". He asked for solidarity with French Muslims during the upcoming presidential election campaign.

Roman Polanski won best director for The Ghost Writer, which was edited while Polanski was detained in Switzerland.

The film won three other prizes: best editing, best music by Alexandre Desplat, and best screenplay adaptation, from the novel by Robert Harris

Eric Elmosnino won best actor for his role in Gainsbourg (vie heroique), the bio-pic of performer Serge Gainsbourg, which also won best first film for director Joann Sfar.

Sara Forestier, who won a César in 2005, was named best actress for her role in Le nom des gens as a left-wing activist who tries to convert her political opponents by sleeping with them.

The American director Quentin Tarantino received an honourary César, which was presented to him by Diane Kruger and Christoph Waltz, the actors in his film Inglorious

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning