France's Tony Gatlif wins Cannes Best Director prize

24th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 22 (AFP) - France's Tony Gatlif on Saturday won the Best Director prize at the Cannes film festival for "Exiles", a film about second-generation immigrants returning to their roots.

CANNES, France, May 22 (AFP) - France's Tony Gatlif on Saturday won the Best Director prize at the Cannes film festival for "Exiles", a film about second-generation immigrants returning to their roots.

The French director's 14th feature film is inspired by his own story. He was born 55 years ago to an Algerian father and Rom gypsy mother and left the North African nation as a youngster after its war of independence from France in the early 1960s.

In the film, the director recounts a current-day journey to Algiers by two children of exiled parents.

Zana, who is a French national born in Algeria, and Naima, his Algerian-origin girlfriend, hitch from Paris to Spain and across the Mediterranean to Morocco then Algeria, meeting gypsies and illegal migrant workers on the way.

It is probably the first movie shot in Algeria's casbah since the 1965 classic "The Battle of Algiers" by Gilles Pontecorvo.

Gatlif said the making of the film was an intense experience, marking his return to his birthplace 43 years after the departure of his own parents.

Known for his love of music and gypsy roots, Gatlif accompanies the journey with sound ranging from urban techno to flamenco to one of the strongest visuals seen in Cannes - a lengthy Sufi trance, a healing ritual to the pounding of drums.

Another French film, "Look at Me" written by French movie couple, director-actress Agnes Jaoui and actor Jean-Pierre Bacri, won the prize for best screenplay.

It takes a sharp sarcastic look at French intellectuals, harping on the perverse side of success and on the difficulty of communicating.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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