Satire "Triangle of Sadness" wins the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival

Swedish director Ruben Östlund has won the main prize at the Cannes Film Festival for the second time. The jury awarded his social satire “Triangle of Sadness” with the Golden Palm on Saturday evening. The Belgian director Lukas Dhont (“Close”) and the French filmmaker Claire Denis (“Stars at Noon”) shared the grand prize of the jury. Iranian Sar Amir Ebrahimi and South Korean Song Kang Ho were honored as best actors.

“Our goal was to make an engaging film for audiences and thought provoking,” said Östlund upon accepting the hundred-diamond gold trophy. The 48-year-old director had already won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2017 with his film “The Square”.

“The entire jury was extremely shocked by this film,” said jury president Vincent Lindon at the award ceremony about this year’s winning film, in which the German actress Iris Berben and Hollywood star Woody Harrelson also play.

“Triangle of Sadness” is about models and the super-rich whose journey on a luxury cruise ship comes to a catastrophic end. A scene extensively showing the ship’s guests throwing up and suffering from severe diarrhea caused plenty of conversation at last week’s premiere in Cannes. The film was funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

Iranian Sar Amir Ebrahimi, who lives in exile in France, was awarded best actress at the gala on Saturday evening for her role in “Holy Spider”. Ebrahimi fled her homeland 16 years ago after a campaign to slander her love life.

The award for the best actor went to the South Korean Song Kang Ho, known from the film “Parasite”, who convinced the jury in Cannes as the leading actor in the film “Broker”. The South Korean Park Chan Wook, whose film “Decision to Leave” competed in Cannes, was honored as the best director.

A total of 21 films had competed for the Palme d’Or in Cannes. A German contribution was not in the running. The nine-member jury, headed by French actor Lindon, included Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, his Norwegian colleague Joachim Trier and British actress and filmmaker Rebecca Hall.

Earlier this morning, Shaunak Sen’s “All That Breathes” about the rescue of birds of prey in New Delhi received the “L’Oeil d’Or” award for best documentary. Hollywood star Forest Whitaker was honored with the palm of honor for his life’s work this year.

Last year, the unconventional fantasy drama “Titane” by French filmmaker Julia Ducournau won the Palme d’Or. It was only the second time in the festival’s history that a film directed by a woman was awarded the Palme d’Or.

This year’s film festival was marked by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Both the Ukrainian director Sergej Losniza and the Russian director Kirill Serebrennikow, who now lives in Berlin, presented their new films in Cannes. The posthumously completed film by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, who was killed in April in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, was also shown in Cannes.

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At the opening ceremony almost two weeks ago, the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyj surprisingly joined in. In his speech, he appealed to the film world to “raise its voice” against the war in Ukraine.

The famous festival on the Côte d’Azur celebrated its 75th edition this year. A gala with stars such as Sophie Marceau, Kristen Stewart, Diane Kruger and Guillermo del Toro took place on Tuesday evening.

Hollywood productions such as the biopic “Elvis” by Baz Luhrmann and the action flick “Top Gun: Maverick” starring Tom Cruise also provided glamor on the Croisette this year. Last year, the festival in Cannes was moved to the summer due to the corona pandemic, and in 2020 it had to be canceled due to corona.

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