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The Berlinale has a winner

The film “Synonyms” was awarded the Gold Bear at the Berlinale

Jana Fikotová
17.Feb 2019
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1 minute to read
Juliette Binoche

This year’s Berlinale Festival was very surprising. The Gold Bear for best film was awarded to the French-Israeli-German film called Synonyms by Israeli Director Nadava Lapida. Angela Schanelec won best director.

The jury, headed by French actress Juliette Binoche acknowledged German Angela Schanelec for her drama titled “I was Home Alone” (Ich war zuhause, aber). Representatives of the Chinese film titled “Goodbye Son” (Ti ťiou tchien čchang), Jung Mei and Wang Ting-Chun, took the awards for best actor and actress.

The winning drama

Synonyms is the story of a young Israeli called Yoava (Tom Mercier) who moves to Paris after leaving the Israeli Armed Forces, where he tries to become a Frenchman as quickly as possible. This is why he doesn’t speak Hebrew and enthusiastically learns French by constantly repeating synonyms. 

Luxusní kancelář na pronájem v Pařížské ulici
Luxusní kancelář na pronájem v Pařížské ulici, Praha 1

It wasn’t the favourite, but it still won

It was awarded the Gold Bear after competing with 15 other film, although there were originally 17 films competing for the main award. One Chinese film was not presented, which resulted in speculation regarding Chinese censorship. The film titled Thank God (Grâce à Dieu) by French director Francoise Ozon also won an award. This film was about the abuse of a boy by Catholic priests and received the Grand Jury Prize. The German drama about uncontrollable nine-year old Benni was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize for films, which open new perspectives. The film titled “Piranhas!” about a teenage mafia was awarded the prize for best screenplay. The cameraman of the film titled “Out Stealing Horses” received the Silver Bear for artistic contribution. The eighteenth Berlinale Festival was managed for the last time by Dieter Kosslick.

Czech elements

Kateřina Karhánková was presented the award for best short film in 2018 by the European Association for Children’s films for her film titled “Fruits of Clouds” (Plody mraků). The plot is simple: greyish figures have to give up the safety of their dens underground and set out to seek food in a mysterious forest.

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