The film, directed by Jacques Audiard, depicts the story of three Sri Lankan refugees and their struggles in asylum in Paris.
The 68th Cannes Film Festival came to an end on Sunday with a bit of a surprise when the most prestigious award of the film festival Palme d’Or went to “Dheepan”, a French drama film directed by Jacques Audiard.
The Palme d’Or or Golden Palm was adjudicated by a panel led by American filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen and also included Sienna Millar, Jake Gyllenhaal and Spanish actress Rossy de Palma.
“To receive a prize from the Coen brothers is something pretty exceptional. I’m very touched,” Director Jacques Audiard said after receiving the award. “Thank you, Michael Haneke, for not making a film this year.” Audiard added a bit of humor. The French director has been beaten twice by the Australian filmmaker Michael Haneke, in 2009 and 2012 and “Dheephan” earned him the first Palme d’Or of his career. The film is about three Sri Lankan refugees and their struggles in a tough, drug infested ghetto on the edge of the Paris.
The award was greeted with a mixture of boos and applause. However, the jury reckoned “Dheepan” was a “beautiful movie” to watch.
“We all thought it was a beautiful movie,” Ethan Coen said. “This is not the jury of film critics. This is a jury of artists looking at the work.” His brother Joel Coen added.
The Grand Prix, the runner up of the competition was the Hungarian film “Son of Saul” which was directed by Lazlo Nemes and was well-received by the critics. The film follows the story of a Jewish prisoner who attempts to bury a child and finds a rabbi to recite his funeral prayers.
“When we emerged from the “Son of Saul”, we had a very long moment of reflection and silence,” said Xavier Dolan, a member of the jury. “It’s one of those films that slowly goes into you.”
Hou Hsiao-Hsien received the award for the Best Director for his film “The Assassin”. The film was set in the ninth-century in China and marked Hou’s seventh nomination in the competition. The award for the best actor went to Vincent Lindon for his work in the film “The Measure of a Man” while the Best Actress award was shared between Rooney Mara for “Carol” and Emmanuelle Bercot for “Mon Roi”.