CANNES, France – South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho lived up to expectations and took home the Palme d’Or from a Cannes Film Festival that also rewarded the acting of Antonio Banderas in the film “Pain and Glory” by Pedro Almodovar.
Bong was overcome with emotion as he accepted a prize he said he never expected, and let it be known he has always been inspired by French filmmakers Claude Chabrol and Henri-Georges Clouzot.
He also noted that making “Parasite,” a comedy that turns into a tragedy, was a “very special adventure” that he could never have achieved without his actors.
The prize for the South Korean was unanimous, as stated by the head of the jury, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, who observed: “In the times we’re living in, when democracy is being lost, this decision has been totally democratic – we took it together and it has been totally unanimous.”
The second most important award at the festival, the Grand Prix awarded by the jury, was for “Atlantique,” the first work of Senegal’s Mati Diop, the first black woman ever to be in the running for a prize in the Competition section at Cannes.
This social film recounts the dreams of Senegal’s young people in the 1990s, who would not hesitate to risk their lives traveling to Spain no matter how dangerous a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean it might entail.
In the acting categories, a greatly applauded Best Actor prize was accepted by Spain’s Antonio Banderas for his role in “Pain and Glory” by Pedro Almodovar, to whom he dedicated the award.
“I respect, admire, love him. He’s given me so much in my life that this award obviously is dedicated to him,” said Banderas, who also smiled about to how much pain and glory there was on a night like this.
Chosen as Best Actress was Emily Beecham for “Little Joe” by Jessica Hausner, while France’s Celine Sciamma took the Best Screenplay honor for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”
The Jury Prize was a tie between the Brazilian film “Bacurau” by Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles, and “Les Miserables” by Ladj Ly.
“This is for Brazil,” said Mendonca Filho upon accepting the award, to which Dornelles added that this is a prize “for all the workers in Brazil in the fields of science, education and culture.”
Meanwhile Ly, on the verge of tears, said that her film about the social problems in neighborhoods on the fringes of Paris shows what the residents and police there have in common, which is misery...”I dedicate it to all ‘les miserables’ in France,” she said.
The jury prizes were handed out by filmmaker Michael Moore, who in a long, tedious speech spoke of the lies told by US President Donald Trump, and said that “in dark times, art is what has helped save humanity from the autocrats and idiots.”
The list of winners in the Competition section was completed with the Best Director award for the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for “Young Ahmed,” a film about the Islamic radicalization of a young boy, in which they sought to create “an ode to life, to differences and to welcoming the foreigner.”
A Special Mention went to Palestine’s Elia Suleiman for “It Must Be Heaven.”