First Afrikaans Cannes film scoops Queer Palm
The first Afrikaans film to be screened at Cannes, "Skoonheid", on Saturday won the Queer Palm award for its portrayal of a middle-aged South African man struggling with his latent homosexuality.
Oliver Hermanus's film, whose title means "beauty" in the Afrikaans language, featured in the festival's Un Certain Regard section and won the parallel award for the the best film dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual issues.
"We were struck and marked by this film about self-hate, homophobia and racism. 'Skoonheid' is a disturbing, radical film, real cinema," said French journalist and jury president Elisabeth Quin.
It tells the story of Francois who lives a tightly controlled life with his family in Bloemfontein which unravels when he becomes infatuated with the 23-year-old son of a long-lost friend.
The 64th Cannes festival jury presided by US actor Robert De Niro is to announce the top awards, including the coveted Palme d'Or, at a gala ceremony on Sunday.
© 2011 AFP