Politics Triumphs At Berlin Film Festival

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Films boasting an overtly political theme have seized the top awards at this year's (06) Berlin International Film Festival with honours for a Bosnian war epic and a probe into the notorious US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

GRBAVICA walked away with the prestigious Golden Bear award at the 56th annual festival, for detailing the mass rape of women during the siege of war-torn Sarajevo in the Bosnian conflict.

Director JASMILA ZBANIC used the opportunity to highlight the war's unpunished human rights violators: "War in Bosnia was over some 13 years ago and yet war criminals RADOVAN KARADZIC and RATKO MLADIC (former Bosnian Serb leader and army commander) still live in Europe freely.

"They've not been captured for organising the rape of 20,000 women in Bosnia. This is Europe and no one is interested in capturing them."

On a similar note, British film-makers Michael Winterbottom and MAT WHITECROSS dedicated their Silver Bear for best director to the three British Muslim terror suspects incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay who inspired their movie ROAD TO GUANTANAMO.

The head of the festival's jury, British actress Charlotte Rampling, claimed this year's films "reflected the mood of the world today".

Other winners included OFFSIDE, by the Iranian director Jafar Panahi, and Danish-Swedish film A SOAP, which both picked up a Silver Bear.

Best actor/actress honours went to Germans Moritz Bleibtreu for his role in ELEMENTARY PARTICLES, and SANDRA HUELLER, star of REQUIEM.


Tags: Michael Winterbottom - Charlotte Rampling - Jafar Panahi - Moritz Bleibtreu

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