Cannes: South Korean director scoops Palme d'Or

Brenda Watkins
May 26, 2019

Antonio Banderas and Emily Beecham accept their awards on stage during the closing ceremony of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on Saturday (May 25) in Cannes, France.

The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

After Okja and another Netflix release, Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories, premiered in Cannes, the festival ruled that all films in competition needed French theatrical distribution.

The jury gave a special mention to Palestinian film-maker Elia Suleiman's "It Must Be Heaven" about the experiences of an exile who goes on a meandering odyssey from his hometown of Nazareth to the streets of Paris and NY.

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho has won the Cannes film festival's most prestigious award.

Although few quibbled with the choice of "Parasite", some had expected Cannes to make history by giving the Palme to a female filmmaker for just the second time.

"It's the 100th anniversary of the cinema in Korea this year".

For many critics, the choice for the top prize among the 21 contenders was especially hard at the world's most influential worldwide film festival.

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French-Senagalese filmmaker Mati Diop was awarded the Grand Prix of the Jury for "Atlantique", a tale of desperate young Africans emigrating to Europe in search of a better life.

"I think sometimes less is more and I really loved it in the white - it was bright and very attractive", Sulcer said of the outfit. I do feel like I see films in a different way.

"It doesn't really belong to me but I'm OK to be that person, to be that woman", Diop said.

"We saw it through her young eyes", he added.

Ladj Ly's "Les Misérables" - which Swinton had also pointed out as an impressive piece of work, given this is Ly's first feature film - was given the Jury Prize, alongside Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles' "Bacurau".

The Spanish master's Pain And Glory has been roundly hailed as one of his finest ever, with a career-best lead performance by Antonio Banderas as the director's alter ego. It stars Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam, and Song Kang-ho, a man considered one of the best actors in Korean cinema who has appeared in Bong's most well-known films like "Snowpiercer", "The Host" and "Memories of Murder".

Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne took home the award for best directors for their film Young Ahmed, which is about a boy who is radicalised into stabbing his teacher.

"We shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres, speaking in a amusing, humorous and tender way of no judgment of something so relevant and urgent and so global", Inarritu told reporters after the ceremony.

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