July 24, 2021

'Synonymes', by Nadav Lapid, wins the Golden Bear at the Berlinale | Culture

'Synonymes', by Nadav Lapid, wins the Golden Bear at the Berlinale | Culture

Navad Lapid, director of 'Synonymes', with his Golden Bear. In video, a fragment of 'Synonymes'.

Synonymes, from the Israeli Nadav Lapid, in which he recreates with a very sardonic tone his youthful experiences in Paris, he has won the Golden Bear of the Berlinale 2019. In his third feature film, the director of Police in Israel (2011) and of The kindergarten teacher (2014), which was so successful that it became a Hollywood version, follows in the footsteps of Yoav, a newcomer to the French capital, who on his first night they steal clothes. Only the solidarity of a couple will save him from dying frozen, and from there his steps in Paris are as strange as fun, what Lapid uses to reflect on identity – what is to be French or Israeli – and on religion: what does it mean to be a Jew today? It was probably not the best film in a deplorable section, but not the worst one: the international critics already awarded him his prize for best feature film on Friday, with which journalists and jury have agreed.

TO François Ozon he was rewarded with the Grand Jury Prize, the second most important award, for Thank God, his recreation of the sexual abuse-real-suffered for years by children of a parish in Lyon. The film is about to be released in France, where judicial proceedings against the priest who carried out the abuses are still going on (he will be tried at the end of this year, after the investigation is closed) and against the bishop who allegedly covered them up, and He will hear the sentence on March 7.

In an unquestionable decision, the awards for best actor and actress went to the Chinese Wang Jingchun and Yong Mei, the couple protagonist of So Long, My Son, that give life to a marriage during three decades of life, that suffer all kinds of vicissitudes and misfortunes that end up uniting them even more over the years. His interpretation is full of life and nuances, which the viewer appreciates even more because the film is built like a temporary puzzle.


Golden Bear: Synonymes, by Navad Lapid (Israel).

Grand Jury Prize: Thank God, by François Ozon (France).

Alfred Bauer Award to the film that opens new perspectives: Systemsprenger, by Nora Fingscheidt (Germany).

Best address: Angela Schanelec, for I was at Home, but (Germany).

Best actress: Yong Mei, for Son Long, My Son (China).

Best Actor: Wang Jingchun, for So Long, My Son (China).

Best screenplay:

Artistic contribution: for the director of photography Rasmus Videbaek, for his work in Out Stealing Horses.

Best documentary: Talking about trees, of Suhaib Gamelbari.

Best debut film of all sections: Oray, by Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay.

Best short film: Umbra, by Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell.

Best film in the competition for international critics: Synonymes (Israel), by Nadav Lapid.

The Silver Bear for the best direction was obtained by the German Angela Schanelec, for I was at Home, but. The veteran director here delves into the difficult relationship between a mother and her two children, a story to which she adds certain comic winks and references to Bresson. The Alfred Bauer award for a film that opens new perspectives fell on Systemsprenger, of the German Nora Fingscheidt, who tells the life of a nine-year-old girl who does not fit into the system and who, because of her energy and violence, is expelled from school to college.

The Silver Bear for the best script was for the team The band of children (Piranhas), the novel by Roberto Saviano, adapted by himself, the director Claudio Giovanessi and Maurizio Braucci. Saviano thanked all those who saved lives in the streets of Naples, and the director said, award in hand, that he hoped that in his country the day would return in which art and culture "are a priority."

Juliette Binoche, as president of the jury, regretted on behalf of her colleagues not being able to assess One second, the film by Zhan Yimou, who already won the Golden Bear in Berlin at this festival. With this statement, gave more buzz to the rumors of censorship of the Chinese Government, although two days before the screening the Berlinale ensure that the decision was canceled for "technical problems", not being finished post-production.

The ceremony was marked, in its beginning, with the death of one of the greatest actors in European cinema, Bruno Ganz, who although Swiss, did his best work in German cinema, especially by the hand of Wim Wenders.

It has been a Berlinale marked by its low level in the section to Competition, which also involved the withdrawal of its director, Dieter Kosslick, after 18 editions. He was also honored during the awards ceremony, in which he brought out his gifts of showman On June 1, the Italian director Carlo Chatrian will start directing him, responsible until now for the Locarno contest, where he started in 2013. Today Chatrian has announced that he will bring his team of programmers with him. We will see how it re-launches the German contest in 2020.


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