Cannes: Palme d’Or goes to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite

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South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho (L) poses on stage with Mexican director and President of the Jury of the Cannes Film Festival Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu after he was awarded with the Palme d.
AFP

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Bong Joon-ho with Cannes jury president, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

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

The Palme d’Or was awarded for his film Parasite, a dark comedy thriller exploring social class dynamics.

The festival came to a close this evening after 11 days of previews of new films and documentaries.

It saw French-Senagalese director Mati Diop become the first black female director to win an award in Cannes’ 72-year history.

Diop won the Grand Prix – the equivalent of a silver prize – for Atlantics, a Senegalese drama about young migrants and sexual politics.

Diop had previously said she was “a little sad” that it had taken until 2019 for a film by a woman of African descent to even be screened at the festival.

Meanwhile, US director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – which received strong reviews – left the closing ceremony empty handed.

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AFP

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Mati Diop delivering a speech after she was awarded the Grand Prix for her film Atlantique

Bong is the first Korean to win Cannes’ top prize. However, he has been at the festival previously, having made his name at Cannes with Okja in 2017, which – somewhat controversially – originally screened on Netflix.

This is the second year with no contenders produced by the streaming giant amid talks between the Netflix and Cannes.

Other winners on the night included Emily Beecham – a dual British-American national – who took home the best actress award for her appearance in Little Joe, a psychological sci-fi about a woman whose scent induces euphoria.

Best actor went to Antonio Banderas for his role in Pain and Glory, the story of a film director who is facing middle age and a creative crisis.

Best screenplay went to Céline Sciamma for Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a period romance about a relationship between a young painter and her subject.

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Antonio Banderas accepting the prize from Zhang Ziyi for best actor

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.

Brazilian film Bacurau, directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles won the Jury Prize. The story follows a filmmaker who travels to a remote village and discovers its dark secrets.

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