Palme D'Or Heads Asia Again: Cannes Main Prize Goes To South Korean "Parasite"


The 72nd Cannes Film Festival is over. The grand film fiesta that lasted for 12 days has already announced its winners last Saturday but the talks about the decisions of the Jury chaired by the famous Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu are still going on. Only the Palme d'Or for the best picture to the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho and his Parasite has escaped any doubts and received a unanimous vote by the Jury.

Iñárritu who headed the Jury of such competent members as French author-artist-director Enki Bilal, French director Robin Campillo, Senegalese actress-director Maimouna N’Diaye, American actress Elle Fanning, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski, American director Kelly Reichardt, and Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, explained this unanimous decision by saying: “We all shared the mystery of the unexpected way this film took us through different genres and spoke in a funny, humorous, tender way - with no judgment - of something so relevant and urgent, so global in such a local film, with such a beautiful efficiency of media, and an understanding of what film really is. We were all fascinated when we saw it, and it kept growing and growing: that’s why it was a unanimous decision.”

In his Parasite, Bong Joon-ho depicts a lower-class family, which tries to infiltrate rich family to improve their lives. It all starts when the son Ki-woo is recommended by his friend for a well-paid tutoring job, spawning hopes of a regular income. Carrying the expectations of all his family, Ki-woo heads to the Park family home for an interview. Arriving at the house of Mr. Park, the owner of a global IT firm, Ki-woo meets Yeon-kyo, the beautiful young lady of the house. But following this first meeting between the two families, an unstoppable string of mishaps lies in wait.

This is the second year in the row when the Palme d'Or travels to Asia. Last year it went to Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu and his drama Shoplifters. Meanwhile the controversial Quentin Tarantino who has managed to enter the Competition on the very last minute with his new hit Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood, though has gathered full theatres and applause, was destined to go home with nothing.

The Best actress award went to Emily Beecham for her role of the scientist in Jessica Hausner’s sci-fi drama Little Joe. Antonio Banderas was announced the Best actor for playing a film director Salvador Mallo in a new semi-autobiographical comeback of Pedro Almodóvar called Pain And Glory.

The best director award this year went to the famous brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne who have already to Palmes d'Or in their account. This time they were honoured for their new feature Young Ahmed, which tells a story of a Muslim teenager living in Belgium who, brainwashed by the radical imam, attempts to kill his teacher. This is not the only film in the Competition that deals with a sociopolitical problem. The Jury's Grand Prix went to a debut filmmaker Mati Diop's Atlantics, which explores the refugee crisis in Europe while other entries also base their main stories on certain sociopolitical issues.

However, Iñárritu defends the artistic merit of the Jury's choices: “We would not care about who directed, what country, what political message — that honestly should not matter as much as the film itself. The cinema has to speak by itself. These were cinematic decisions, not political agendas.”

Click here for the full list of the winners.

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival was considered one of the strongest, though some of the Jury's decisions were met by the boos of disapproval. Well, you'll never know till you see for yourself.

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