Cannes 2019: Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’ wins Palme d’Or award

Dark comedy scoops top prize ahead of Mati Diop’s ‘Atlantique’

Peter Stubley
Saturday 25 May 2019 21:27
Cannes Film Festival opens with zombie movie The Dead Don't Die

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho has won the Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his social satire Parasite.

The dark comedy centres on an impoverished family of hustlers who move into the home of a wealthy entrepreneur, his wife and two children.

They worm their way into the other family’s lives – and then strange things start to happen.

It is the first Korean film to ever win the Palme and the second straight victory for an Asian director, following last year’s award for Shoplifters by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda.

Two years ago, Mr Bong’s film Okja was booed at Cannes when the Netflix logo appeared on screen. Netlfix later withdrew its films from the festival after organisers ruled that all entries needed French theatrical distribution.

The festival’s second-place award, the Grand Prize, went to French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s Atlantique​. Diop was the first black female director in competition at Cannes.

Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for Young Ahmed.

Best actor went to Antonio Banderas for Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, while best actress was won by British actress Emily Beecham for Little Joe.

Celine Sciamma’s period romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire was the Palme pick for many critics this year, but it ended up with best screenplay.

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In the festival’s 72-year history, only one woman has won the top prize. Jane Champion’s film The Piano shared the award with Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine in 1993.

Additional reporting by AP and Reuters

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