Bloody Sunday film wins Bear award
BERLIN, Germany -- The docudrama "Bloody Sunday" has shared the Golden Bear top prize at the Berlin Film Festival with a Japanese animation.
British director Paul Greengrass' account of a civil rights march that ended in the deaths of 14 protesters has attracted controversy in the UK for its portrayal of British soldiers on duty during the Londonderry march.
Japanese animated film "Spirited Away" -- the tale of a young girl's adventures in a parallel world of gods and goblins -- shared the Golden Bear.
But "Huite Femmes" ("Eight Women") -- a French murder mystery that was an early favourite for the Golden Bear among critics at the festival -- missed out.
The cast did, however, receive a Silver Bear prize.
Presenting "Bloody Sunday" in Berlin, Greengrass said he hoped that his dramatisation of the events of January 30, 1972, would help reconciliation after three decades of conflict.
Drawing from the experiences of former British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland as well as Londonderry citizens, "the idea behind this film was that we would all come together to relive this terrible and traumatic day, tell the truth about it and, in a spirit of reconciliation, move on," Greengrass said.
Other Silver Bears went to Otar Losseliani as best director for his film "Monday Morning," Halle Berry as best actress for her role in "Monster's Ball," and Jacques Gamblin for "Laissez-Passer" ("Safe Conduct").
A Silver Bear for best film music was awarded to Antoine Duhamel in "Safe Conduct."
The Berlinale, considered after Cannes as one of the world's top festivals, is popular with industry executives because it is a start-of-year showcase for new films.
Although there were fewer top international stars at this year's festival, several leading actors and directors including Deneuve, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Berry, Kevin Spacey and Harvey Keitel made the trip to Germany.
Aside from the 23 films in the competition, about 400 films from dozens of countries were screened in the festival's various fringe venues.
The festival ended with a screening of a restored version of Charlie Chaplin's anti-Nazi satire "The Great Dictator."
The 1940 film is due for an international re-release later this year.
Chaplin's dictator "Adenois Hynkel" is a vicious parody of Hitler's mannerisms and blustering oratory but also remains a timeless masterpiece of mockery aimed at tyrants everywhere.
Berlin festival opens
February 6, 2002
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