Berlin film festival top prize goes to Peruvian survivors' tale

14th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

The film was the first Peruvian entry ever in the 59-year history of the Berlinale.

Berlin -- A Peruvian tale of women's survival after two decades of guerrilla war, "The Milk of Sorrow," won the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin Film Festival Saturday, Jury President Tilda Swinton said.

The film by Claudia Llosa, 32, was the first Peruvian entry ever in the 59-year history of the Berlinale.

"This is for Peru, this is for our country," she said, holding the trophy aloft, flanked by her lead actress Magaly Solier.

The Silver Bear prize for best actor went to Sotigui Kouyate of Mali for his role in "London River" as a father searching for his son in the wake of the July 2005 public transport bombings in the British capital.

"I would first of all like to thank Rachid Bouchareb and Jean Brehat for giving me the opportunity to be here tonight," he said, thanking the picture's Franco-Algerian director and French producer.

The 72-year-old also thanked the festival, saying that "every organization like the Berlinale that allows people to meet and encounter each other's cultures does a good deed for the world today."

Austria's Birgit Minichmayr captured the prize for best actress as a woman in a doomed relationship in the German drama, "Everyone Else." The film also shared a runner-up prize for best picture with "Gigante" by Argentina’s Adrian Biniez.

Iran's Asghar Farhadi won the Silver Bear for best director for his drama "About Elly," which is about a woman who vanishes on a beach getaway with friends.

In a study of relations between the sexes, the disappearance leaves a group of chic urbanites weaving an ever-more-intricate web of lies to maintain the appearance of maintaining traditional social mores.

Eighteen pictures were in competition for the Golden and Silver Bear prizes.

The 11-day festival, which ranks second only to Cannes in size and prestige, wraps up Sunday.


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