South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ wins top Cannes honor

South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ wins top Cannes honor

Vecdi Sayar – CANNES
South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ wins top Cannes honor

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival’s main award, the Golden Palm (Palme d’Or), was handed to Korean director Bong Joon-Ho on May 25 evening by French star Catherine Deneuve.

Joon-Hoo’s “Parasite,” a tragi-comic story of four members of a poor family that desperately try to change their destiny, is a film appealing to all audiences, thus has a good chance of success at the box office.

The decision of the jury, headed by Argentinian helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, was received very well by the critics and the audience, although the expectations were in the direction of Pedro Almodovar’s melodrama “Pain and Glory.”

Bong told Reuters that his film, which pokes fun at the affluent mother gushing about her art genius son, or at a family in a cramped flat trying to capture the Wi-Fi signal off their neighbors, reflected “the reality of the times.”

“I really respect films that deal with heavy political issues very seriously but I much prefer to mix that with humor,” Bong said.

“While they’re laughing I want them to be hit like a hidden blade behind their pocket when they’re not expecting it.”

 Movie on African migrants

The second important award of the festival, “Grand Prix of the Jury,” was given to French movie “Atlantique,” which tells a realistic story with magical overtones about African immigrants sailing to the sea to be able to arrive in Europe.

This is a first film by a young French woman of Africa origin, Mati Diop.

Belgium’s Dardenne brothers, two-time winners of the Golden Palm, clinched the best director gong for “Young Ahmed” about a teenage boy who falls under the influence of an Islamist hate preacher.

Antonio Banderas got the best actor award for Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory.”

An emotional Banderas said it was the first major prize of his 40-year career.

“I respect him, I admire him, I love him, he’s my mentor and he’s given me so much,” he said of Almodovar, who cast the actor in eight films and helped make him a global box office draw.

“This award has to be dedicated to him,” he added.

Britain’s Emily Beecham won best actress for “Little Joe”, a feminist sci-fi thriller by Austrian director Jessica Hausner about the mysterious powers of a bio-engineered plant.

 French director Celine Sciamma won a prize for best screenplay for her love story “Portrait Of A Lady On Fire.”

A Special Mention was given to Elia Suleiman for his humorous critique of both Eastern and Western societies, “It Must Be Heaven.”

The other nods went to youngsters such as Ladj Ly, who got the Jury prize for his “Les Miserables,” and Brazil’s “Bacurau” won the second-tier “Un Certain Regard” competition.