Japan wins the Palme D’or at 71st Cannes Film Festival

21 May 2018

Japan wins the Palme D’or at 71st Cannes Film Festival

Image credit: MovieMandu

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has won the Palme D’or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival for his film ‘Shoplifters’, making this only the second time an Asian film has won the prestigious prize in the last century.

The latest feature from Mr Kore-eda marks his fifth entry into the competition, which follows a family of small-time crooks who take in a child they met on the street.

The film has received high praise since its first screening at the festival, with critics saying it is “charming and heart-wrenching” (Variety), “a rich, satisfying film” (The Guardian) and “a haunting film about abandoned people, and the beautiful things that are lost and found between them” (IndieWire).

The judging panel was lead by Australian actress Cate Blanchett who acted as jury president.

Other jurors on the panel included director Ava DuVernay, American actress Kristen Stewart, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, French director Robert Guédiguian, Burgundian singer-songwriter Khadja Nin, French actress Léa Seydoux, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, and Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev — with help from such celebrities as Gary Oldman and Roberto Benigni.

“We saw the film and we could not stop talking about it,” Blanchett said. “And we felt as an artist who is continuing to experiment and be alive to the future of cinema, this film was profoundly important. So it’s not an honorary Palme d’Or, but of course in the context of his extraordinary body of work.”

Ms Blanchett also discussed the difficulty of choosing between all the films for the grand prize.

“The Palme D’or, it has to be something where all the elements come together. It was hard because there were several films like that, and it was a very difficult decision. That’s the hard thing. We’re not here to judge, we’re here to choose. It was quite painful,” she said.

Other winners included Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’ which took the Grand Prix. and Nadine Labaki’s ‘Capernaum’ winning the Jury Prize.