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‘Child’s Pose’ Wins Top Award at Berlin Movie Festival

'Child's Pose'
Luminita Gheorghiu as a dominant Bucharest mother in "Child's Pose" by Calin Peter Netzer. When her son kills a boy in a car accident, she pulls strings and pays bribes to keep him out of prison. The film won the top prize, the Golden Bear, at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013. Source: Berlin Film Festival via Bloomberg

The Romanian movie “Child’s Pose,” a psychodrama about a dominant Bucharest mother who refuses to allow her adult son his independence, won the top Golden Bear award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Directed by Calin Peter Netzer, the film opens with the news that Bardu, the son, has killed a boy in a traffic accident. His mother Cornelia immediately begins pulling strings and paying bribes to keep him out of jail for speeding -- an insight into corruption endemic in Romanian society.

“The starting-point of this film is my relationship with my mother, but the rest is fiction,” Netzer told German television. “She has seen it, and she even liked it.”

The winners were selected from 19 films in competition by a seven-member international jury led by the Chinese director Wong Kar Wai. Other jury members included the actor Tim Robbins and German director Andreas Dresen.

The Berlin Film Festival traditionally supports edgy, political dramas. The Silver Bear Jury Grand Prix was last night awarded to the Bosnian film “An Episode in the Life of an Iron-Picker,” which features a Roma family living in desperate poverty and unable to pay for urgently needed medical treatment.

Nazif Mujic, who plays a father who cannot afford a life-saving operation for his wife, won a Silver Bear for the best actor award. Mujic portrayed himself in the film, as it reenacts a real episode in the family’s lives.

“Sometimes good things can come out of anger,” Danis Tanovic, the film’s director, said at the award ceremony. “I hope I will come back to Berlin with some happier subject another time.”

Chilean Divorce

The Silver Bear award for best female actor went to Paulina Garcia for her performance in the title role of “Gloria,” as a 58-year-old divorced Chilean woman who is determined to fall in love and live life to the full.

David Gordon Green won the Silver Bear award for best director for “Prince Avalanche,” a comedy about two men who bond while painting yellow lines down the middle of a road in the wilds of Texas. Alvin (Paul Rudd) is serious and reflective, where Lance (Emile Hirsch) is interested only in sexual conquests.

The Silver Bear best script prize was awarded to Jafar Panahi and Kamboziya Partovi for “Closed Curtain,” a film shot entirely in a villa on the Iranian coast, in defiance of a ban. Panahi is barred from traveling or making movies and could not attend the awards ceremony.

A Silver Bear for innovative film-making was awarded to the Canadian film “Vic & Flo Saw a Bear” by Denis Cote. The prize for the best first film went to “The Rocket” by Australian director Kim Mordaunt.

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