British film wins at Cannes

Bristish director -Ken Loach

British director Ken Loach's historical drama The Wind that Shakes the Barley on Sunday won the coveted Palme d'Or for best film of the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival.

The film, which stars Cillian Murphy, recounts events during the Irish rebellion against British rule in the 1920s and the effects of the struggle for independence on a pair of Irish brothers.

Loach called the prize "a great honor because Cannes is the centre of world cinema and the heart of world cinema."

Known for his strong left-wing views both in public and in his work, the 69-year-old Loach told guests at the gala closing ceremony, "Our film, we hope, is about the British confronting their imperialist history, and maybe, if we tell the truth about the past, we will have the truth about the present."

The movie that was regarded as the top contender for the Palme d'Or, Pedro Almodovar's Volver (Returning), received two prizes, the best actress award for its ensemble female cast, including Penelope Cruz, while Almodovar was given the award for the best screenplay.

In accepting her share of the award, Cruz paid tribute to Almodovar, saying, "The prize really belongs to Pedro. You put so much love, not only into our careers but into our lives."

The Volver actresses sharing the award with Cruz were Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo and Chus Lampreave.

A favorite with critics and other viewers at Cannes, Volver tells a complex tale about mother-daughter relationships involving betrayal, murder, incest - and a very lively ghost.

In accepting the award for best screenplay, Almodovar paid tribute to his sisters for their help on what he called his most personal movie.

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was named best director of the festival for his multi-layered film Babel, which starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

A complex reflection on human relationships on three continents, Babel had also been considered a strong candidate for the festival's top prize.

The award for best actor at the festival was also given to an ensemble cast, the five actors starring in the Franco-Algerian World War II drama Indigenes (Days of Glory): Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem and Bernard Blancan.

Other award winners announced Sunday were the Grand Prix for the French drama Flanders, directed by Bruno Dumont, and the Jury Award, presented to British film maker Andrea Arnold for her first feature film, Red Road.

(Sources: BKP, BBC)


 

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