Film on Irish struggle wins at Cannes
British director Ken Loach's "The Wind That Shakes the Barley", a saga set amid Ireland's struggle for independence in the early 1920s, won the "Palme d'Or" at the 59th Cannes film festival last Sunday.
After receiving the award at a star-studded ceremony in Cannes, Loach said:
"Our film is about, we hope, a little step, a very little step in the British confronting their imperialist history. And maybe, if we tell the truth about the past, maybe we tell the truth about the present."
Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney star as two brothers who join the guerrilla war against British forces. But the men face harrowing choices when they end up on opposite sides of the conflict.
Chinese director Wong Kar Wai, president of the jury, said the decision on the Palme d'Or was unanimous.
The Grand Prix, or runner up prize, was awarded to "Flanders," directed by France's Bruno Dumont. It is told through the story of the young and taciturn farmhand Demester, who is called up to fight a war in Middle East.
The ensemble female cast of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's "Volver," including Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura, won the best actress prize.
"This prize really belongs to Pedro," said Cruz, wearing a long red dress. "You are the greatest, the bravest. You put so much magic into our lives. Thanks for what you do for women all over the world."
Almodovar won best screenplay for Volver, his bitter-sweet tale of abuse, abandonment and reconciliation which was the critics' favorite to take the Palme d'Or before the awards were announced.