South Korean film Parasite won the coveted Palme d’Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. Parasite is a dark comedy by Bong Joon-ho.
At the closing ceremony at Cannes on 26 May, Joon-ho received a standing ovation and a loud cheer from the audience when the film was announced the Palme d’Or winner. Jury President, Birdman fame director, Alejandro González Iñárritu said the Palme d’Or decision was “unanimous”.
Antonio Banderas won the best actor award for his role as a film director in his decline in the Spanish drama, Pain and Glory, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
Atlantics, a 2019 Senegalese drama film directed by Mati Diop, won the runner-up Grand Prix award. Diop created history when it premiered at the Cannes becoming the first black woman to direct a film featured In Competition at the festival.
Banderas, who teamed up with Almodóvar for the eighth time, said, “I met Pedro 40 years ago, 8 movies together. I respect him, admire him, love him. He’s given me so much in my life that this award obviously is dedicated to him. People think we live on a red carpet. But we suffer a lot, sacrifice a lot and there is a lot of pain. Also there are nights of glory. And this is my night of glory.”
The Camera d’Or went to César Diaz for Our Mothers, which screened in the Critics’ Weel sidebar. The award honours the best first feature film presented in one of the Cannes’ selections.
A special mention was handed over to Elia Suleiman for It Must Be Heaven, which played in the competition segment.
Best director honours were given to brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for Young Ahmed, a film about a Belgian teenager embracing Islamic extremism.
Emily Beecham won the best actress award for Little Joe, a British-Austrian drama directed by Jessica Hausner, for her role as Alice, a scientist who creates a genetically modified plant that causes uncanny changes in other living creatures.
Meanwhile the Jury Prize was shared between two films, Ladj Ly’s first feature film, Les Miserables and Bacurau, a Brazilian movie by co-directors Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles.