South Korean social satire 'Parasite' wins Palme d'Or at Cannes

Carla Harmon
May 26, 2019

Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho on Saturday became the first South Korean to win Cannes Film Festival's prestigious top prize, the Palme d'Or, with his film "Parasite".

The unanimous decision to crown Parasite partly came down to its unexpected mash-up of genres, this year's jury president, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the Mexican maker of Birdman, told reporters.

For the first time in history, a cinematic work from Korea has taken the grand prize at Cannes Film Festival, one of the most celebrated film festivals around the world.

Antonio Banderas drew huge applause on being named the best actor for the role of filmmaker in Pedro Almodovar's self-reflexive Pain and Glory.

South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho poses during a photocall with his trophy after he won the Palme d'Or for the film "Parasite" at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, Saturday.

The Jury Prize went to "Bacurau" by Kleber Mendonca Filho and Juliano Dornelles and "Les Miserables" by Ladj Ly, and the best director award to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for "Young Ahmed".

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman's It Must Be Heaven won a special mention from Inarritu's jury.

British actress Emily Beecham picked up the best actress prize at the festival's awards ceremony for her depiction of Alice, the female scientist who creates a new breed of anti-depressant plant. Netflix has since withdrawn from the festival on the French Riveira.

Diop had previously said she was "a little sad" that it had taken until 2019 for a film by a woman of African descent to even be screened at the festival.

The Camera d'Or, an award given for best first feature from across all of Cannes' sections, went to César Díaz's "Our Mothers", a drama about the Guatemalan civil war in the 1980s. It had to contend, most formidably, with the cultural television force of Game of Thrones. The continuing rise of streaming was also a constant subject around Cannes. Cannes said about 27% of its official selections were directed by women.

Meanwhile, US director Quentin Tarantino's latest film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - which received strong reviews - left the closing ceremony empty handed.

"Parasite" is the second film by Bong to be invited to compete in the festival, the first one being "Okja" in 2017.

Other reports by iNewsToday