Brazil triumphs at Berlinale


A Brazilian film about police brutality in Rio de Janeiro has won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival. “Tropa de Elite’ (“The Elite Squad), a debut feature by Jose Padilha, depicts the involvement of drug barons and the elite police squad in a deadly game of inter-dependence, corruption and brutality.

The American documentary “Standard Operating Procedure’ by Oscar-winner Errol Morris, was awarded the Silver Bear. This film deals with the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

Best actor was Iran’s Reza Najie for his performance in Majid Majidi’s “The Song of Sparrows’, while Britain’s Sally Hawkins was voted best actress for her work in the Mike Leigh comedy “Happy-Go-Lucky’.

The Audience Award, voted on by some 20,000 cinema goers, went to Eran Riklis’ “Lemmon Tree’, the story of a Palestinian woman who inherits a lemon grove that borders on the land of the Israeli Defence Minister.

In second place was Australian Julian Shaw’s documentary about a South African icon, “Darling! The Pieter Dirk Uys Story’.


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