Ja­pan’s “Sho­plifters” steals the show to win Cannes Palme d’Or

Stabroek News Sunday - - WORLD NEWS -

CANNES, France, (Reuters) - Ja­panese di­rec­tor Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or at Cannes yes­ter­day for “Sho­plifters”, a crit­i­cally ac­claimed fam­ily drama with unguess­able plot twists.

The award, to a di­rec­tor who has won prizes at the fes­ti­val be­fore, de­fied spec­u­la­tion that the Palme might go to a fe­male di­rec­tor, with three strong con­tenders in a year when the Hollywood sex scan­dal was the talk of the town.

Ital­ian ac­tress Asia Ar­gento, who has ac­cused movie mogul Har­vey We­in­stein of sex­ual as­sault, said there were abusers in the au­di­ence who had yet to be outed.

Ar­gento said We­in­stein raped her dur­ing the Cannes fes­ti­val in 1997 when she was 21. “This fes­ti­val was his hunt­ing ground,” Ar­gento said in a speech ahead of the prize-giv­ing.

We­in­stein has de­nied al­le­ga­tions of non-con­sen­sual sex. His rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Juda En­gel­mayer, was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment on Satur­day. Ar­gento’s London-based agent, Steve Ke­nis, was not im­me­di­ately avail­able to pro­vide fur­ther de­tails.

“Even tonight, sit­ting among you, there are those who still have to be held ac­count­able for their con­duct against women,” Ar­gento told the black-tie cer­e­mony.

“You know who you are, but, most im­por­tantly, we know who you are, and we are not go­ing to al­low you to get away with it any longer,” she ended her speech, to ap­plause.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, Cate Blanchett who headed the jury of five women and four men, said: “Women and men alike on the jury would love to see more fe­male di­rec­to­rial voices rep­re­sented,” ad­ding that it had been “bloody hard” to se­lect a win­ner.

“But in the end I think we were com­pletely bowled over by how in­ter­meshed the per­for­mances were with the di­rec­to­rial vi­sion,” she said of “Sho­plifters”.

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