May 24, 2010

Thai film wins Cannes top honour

Cover of "Blissfully Yours"

Cover of Blissfully Yours

Thai film ''Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives'', a spooky tale of reincarnation by 39-year-old Apichatpong Weerasethakul, won the Best Picture Palm d''Or honour at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival here. The win is being considered a real upset by the critics as the jury ignored strong favourite Xavier Beauvois'' ''Of Gods and Men'', which details the massacre of Christian monks in a remote Algerian village by Islamic extremists in the 1990s.

With Franco-Algerian ties forever on tenterhooks, the movie provoked protests but managed to win festival''s second most important award, Grand Prize. A special jury award went to a third film, Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun''s Un homme qui crie (A Screaming Man), a tragedy of parental betrayal.

Weerasethakul, who has been earlier lauded at Cannes with the ''Un Certain Regard'' prize in 2002 for his ''Blissfully Yours'' and the Jury award in 2004 for ''Tropical Malady'', tells the story of a dying man seeing ghosts from his past lives. Giddy with his win, Weerasethakul said, "I would like to kiss all of you, the jury members especially Mr Burton.

I like your hair style!." "I would also like to thank all the spirits and all the ghosts in Thailand.

They made it possible for me to be here," said the first time winner. The Best Actor Palme was shared by Spain''s Javier Bardem in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu''s ''Biutiful'', and Italy''s Elio Germano in ''Our Life'' by Daniele Luchetti.


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