Joy for Sorrow in Berlin

Madeinusa director Claudia Llosa's second feature wins Golden Bear.

by Amber Wilkinson

The Milk Of Sorrow
Magaly Solier and Anita Chaquiri in The Milk Of Sorrow

It was joy for The Milk Of Sorrow (La Teta Astuda) in Berlin tonight, as it won the festival's highest honour - the Golden Bear.

The film, the second by writer/director Claudia Llosa (Madeinusa) is the first Peruvian film to take part in the competition examines the darker aspects of Peru's history through the story of a woman who falls ill from her raped mother's breast milk.

Picking up her award Llosa said: "This is for Peru. This is for our country."

The runner-up Silver Bear was shared by Maren Ade's German film about a couple's strife, Everyone Else (Alle Anderen), and Uruguayan film Gigante, directed by Adrián Biniez, which tells the story of a store security guard who becomes obssessed by a cleaner. Everyone Else, also saw Birgit Minichmayr pick up the actress Silver Bear.

The Silver Bear for best director went to Asghar Farhadi for Iranian Film About Elly (Darbareye Elly) - which tells the story of a matchmaking trip that goes disastrously awry.

UK co-production London River - about a French Muslim who travels to the English capital in the wake of the 2005 bombings looking for his son - was awarded an acting Silver bear for Sotigui Kouyate's performance.

Other winners were Gábor Erdély and Tamás Székely - awarded a Silver Bear for outstanding contribution, for their work on the sound design of Katalin Varga - and Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon - who won a Silver Bear for best script for The Messenger, which had been tipped to take home the golden statuette.

Praising the film, the jury - headed by Tilda Swinton - said it was awarded "for a script that takes us into a particular experience – one all too often ignored and obscured from us - towards the encouragement of producers, distributors and audiences across the world to keep looking for a wider horizon and to honour the possibility that cinema holds for us to tell the stories that no other medium may be free enough to touch."

Rounding out the awards were Gigante and veteran Andrzej Wajda's Sweet Rush (Tatarak) which shared the Alfred Bauer award for innovation.

Giving the award, the jury said: "One of these directors is an old master with 60 years of experience in film-making. But he is still young and courageous in mind when developing new ways of film-making. He does not even hesitate to involve himself in his movie.

"The other director is a young man, here in Berlin with his first feature film, but imbued with the same passion to use cinema to do what cinema can do best: to tell important stories about our time and the human condition."

Read more of our festival coverage here.

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