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'Milk of Sorrow' wins top prize at Berlin Film Festival

Festival site:http:/ / www.berlinale.de/ en/ HomePage.html

Feb 14, 2009, 08:20 PM | by Thom Geier found at news-briefs.ew.com 

 

 

The Golden BearPeruvian director Claudia Llosa's Milk of Sorrow, the magic-realism-tinged story of women suffering the effects of the long battle between Peru's government and Shining Path terrorists, won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival

Argentinian director Adrian Biniez's debut Gigante (about a supermarket security guard obsessed with a late-night cleaner) shared the runner-up Silver Bear prize with German director Maren Ade's Everyone Else. The latter film's star, Birgit Minichmayr, won best actress honors, while Sotigui Kouyate took best actor for the British film London River (about the aftermath of the London terror bombings).

American films were not completely shut out of the competition. Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon won the best script award for The Messenger, a film about two U.S. soldiers (Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson) assigned to inform a young widow (Samantha Morton) that her husband has died in Iraq. In addition, the festival's Audience Award went to Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno's gonzo-style documentary The Yes Men Fix the World in which the prankster filmmakers pose as reps for multinational corporations to make increasingly outrageous proposals.



hr/photos/stylus/71402-llosa_claudia_341x182.jpgClaudia Llosa, right, and actress Magaly Solier with the Golden Bear for "Everyone Else" (Getty Images photo)

BERLIN -- "The Milk of Sorrow" from Peruvian director Claudia Llosa has won the Golden Bear for best film at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival.

In the politically tinged drama, which also has elements of magic realism, a disease is being passed from mother to daughter through breast milk. It turns out, the mothers were all victims of the decades-long battle between the Peruvian government and Shining Path terrorists.

"The Milk of Sorrow" wasn't the only South American title to win big at Berlin. Argentinean filmmaker Adrian Biniez won the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear for his debut "Gigante," sharing the honor with "Everyone Else," the sophomore feature from German director Maren Ade.

"Gigante," which follows a lonely supermarket security guard and his obsession with the shop's nighttime cleaner, also picked up the prize for best first feature and shared the Alfred Bauer Prize, given in honor of the Berlinale's founder, with "Tatarak" from veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda.

The best actress Silver Bear went to German actress Birgit Minichmayr for her role in "Everyone Else" as an energetic woman in a complicated relationship. Up-and-comer Minichmayr beat out presumed favorites Brenda Blethyn ("London River") and Renee Zellweger ("My One and Only") for the prize.

But Blethyn's "London River" co-star Sotigui Kouyate took the best actor Silver Bear for his stirring performance as a father looking for his lost son in the wake of the London terrorist bombings.

Iranian drama "About Elly," which many had tipped to take the top prize, went home with the best director Silver Bear for Asghar Farhadi.

Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon won the best script Silver Bear for their screenplay to "The Messenger," the story of two U.S. soldiers tasked with telling a young widow her husband has died in Iraq.

"Katalin Varga," a Transylvanian-set revenge drama from British director Peter Strickland, won the Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution for its soundtrack.

The full list of winners for the 59th Berlin International Film Festival is available :

Golden Bear for best film: "The Milk of Sorrow" (director Claudia Llosa)
Jury Grand Prix, the Silver Bear: "Gigante" (director Adrian Biniez) and "Everyone Else" (director Maren Ade )
Best director Silver Bear: Asghar Farhadi for "About Elly"
Best actress Silver Bear: Birgit Minichmayr for "Everyone Else"
Best actor Silver Bear: Sotigui Kouyate for "London River"
Best first feature Silver Bear: "Gigante" (director Adrian Biniez)
Best script Silver Bear: "The Messenger" (director Oren Moverman)
Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution in the category of sound: "Katalin Varga" (director Peter Stickland)
The Alfred Bauer Prize: "Gigante" (director Adrian Biniez) and "Tatarak" (director Andrzej Wajda)
Other winners: 'Yes Men' wins Panorama audience award

 
"The Milk of Sorrow" comments

Geschrieben by Davidpm

Der Gewinner der Berlinale 2009, verdientermaßen. Es ist ein sehr ungewöhnlicher und vor allem ein sehr schöner Film, sowohl, was die Bilder, als auch die von der Hauptfigur gesungenen Lieder betrifft. Sehr langsam und ruhig wird die Geschichte einer jungen Frau erzählt, die das Stigma der seltsamen peruanischen Krankheit "teta asustada" mit sich trägt. Diese entstand durch eine Vergewaltigung ihrer Mutter und bleibt unerklärlich mystisch, offenbar von der Gesellschaft gemacht, der konsultierte Arzt zumindest bestreitet die Existenz der Krankheit. Das Mädchen ist ängstlich und zurückgezogen und schlägt sich außerdem mit der Aufgabe herum, die verstorbene Mutter - ohne Geld - in ihr Heimatdorf zum Begräbnis zu bringen. Dies ist die Ausgangssituation des Films, der sehr unprätentiös daherkommt und längst nicht so düster ist, wie der Inhalt einen vermuten lässt. Melancholisch und originell hebt er sich in seiner Machart vom restlichen Berlinale-Wettbewerb 2009 ab und ist sehr schön anzusehen. Einzig, dass viele andere Filme spannender erzählt sind und einen tiefer in die Geschichte versinken lassen, bleibt ein bisschen schade. Für seine absolut ungewöhnliche Erzählweise hat er den Goldenen Bären aber verdient.

 



 

 

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