Take a bow

British director Ken Loach takes home the Palme d’Or second time for I, Daniel Blake

Veteran English filmmaker Ken Loach joined the august company of Shohei Imamura, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Haneke, Dardenne brothers and Emir Kusturica, winning the Golden Palm at Cannes for the second time. His sensitive film portraying the sufferings of the poor in claiming the relief and subsidies and how the bureaucracy suffocates all benevolent government schemes from reaching the deserving needy was adjudged the best film by the jury headed by the Australian director George Miller.

Hollywood actor Mel Gibson did the honours of presenting the award to Ken Loach. Ken Loach answering a question on neo-liberalism in Europe recalled, “The way in which the Greeks were humiliated by the European Union.”

“We are quietly stunned by the award,” he said.

The Grand Prix, the second highest honour went to Canadian Xavier Dolan for his It’s Only the End of the World, a poignant tale where close family members do not have the energy or intention to love and listen, when the protagonist, a young writer who has been absent from the family, reaches home to announce his impending death.

Romanian Cristian Mungiu richly deserves the Best Director award for his Graduation, a family drama of influence peddling, corruption, affection and disloyalty. The film captures the problems faced by the Romanian society today. He shared the Best Director prize with Frenchman Olivier Assayas for his Personal Shopper, a Kristen Stewart-starrer that divided critics. It was a postmodern ghost story that blends a young woman’s sense of loss at the death of her twin brother with evocative, if occasionally baffling, mystical elements.

The Salesman by the Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, a beautiful tale of the middleclass, one of suffering and forgiving, claimed the Best Screenplay and Best Actor award for Shahab Hosseini.

The Jury Prize went to Britisher Andrea Arnold’s road movie of youngsters finding love, facing challenges and learning the ropes on the move.

The Best Actress Award was given to Jaclyn Jose for her superb performance as Ma Rosa in Brillante Mendoza’s Filipino film of the same title.

The Golden Palm for the Short Film went to Brazilian Juanjo Gimmenez’s Time Code about two young security guards in a parking facility finding the gift of dance in them in a drab life in front of security monitors.

The much coveted Golden Camera for the Best First Film of the Director went to Divines by Houda Benyamina. Divines mixes with drug pushing with religion and tells us how young Dounia breaks away from these and sets her own rules.

The 69th Cannes Film Festival honoured the veteran French actor Jean-Pierre Leaud with an Honorary Golden Palm.

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