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Film round-up Sense of realism rewarded at Cannes film festival

JAPANESE film-maker Hirokazu Kore-eda's Shoplifters, the story of a shoplifting father and son who adopt a homeless girl, has won the the Palme d'Or at Cannes. A profound and subtle observation of human compassion, it's a world away from Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman which carried off the Grand Prix.

In an explosive satire on racism, Lee uses the remarkable true story of a black cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 70s as the vehicle to skewer the racist recidivism of the Trump era.

The Jury prize went to Lebanese director Nadine Labaki for Capernaum, a neorealist drama about a Palestinian boy who sues his parents for bringing him into the pain of this world. It's a gripping and urgent protest against lives devastated by poverty.

Best actor honours went to Marcello Fonte for his role as a dog groomer bullied to the point of breaking by a local criminal in Matteo Garrone’s Dogman, a brutally unsentimental yet lyrical urban drama.

Pawel Pawlikowski was named best director for his relationship drama Cold War, set during the era of the iron curtain. He tells a beautiful story that carries an emotional charge not easy to forget.

Best screenplay prize was shared by Alice Rohrwacher for Happy as Lazzaro, her poetic denunciation of the class divide, and Iranian Jafar Panahi for Three Faces, while veteran director Jean-Luc Godard got a special prize for The Image Book, a mesmeric and audacious homage to the Arab world.

There was a dramatic moment in the award ceremony when actor Asia Argento, presenting the best actress award to Samal Yeslyamova for her portrayal of a young Asian immigrant worker in Ayka, alleged that she was raped by Harvey Weinstein at the festival when she was 21.

“Sitting among you, there are those who still have to be held accountable for their conduct against women, for behaviour that does not belong in this industry. You know who you are,” she said.

Her words were met with such loud applause that it was hard to hear the name of the winner.

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