The recently concluded Cannes Film Festival finally came out with its official list of winners, with the coveted Palme d’Or award unexpectedly given to the Swedish, comedic satire The Square, directed by Ruben Ostlund. However, the AIDS/HIV-centric film 120 Beats per Minute that everyone had pegged as a shoe-in for the Palme did not come far behind, winning the Grand Prix award, the festival’s second highest honor.
The French docudrama by Robin Campillo set in the late ’80s chronicles the brave act of defiance of the protest organization, ACT UP, in which Campillo was a part of. The group embarked on a passionate, yet dangerous protest against the French government, and other influential pharmaceutical establishments that had insisted that the AIDS epidemic plaguing and destroying the lives of the LGBT community was not worthy of the emergency attached to its name, effectively refusing to help.
The heart-wrenching storyline deserving of the viewer’s sympathy and outrage is reminiscent of the equally critically acclaimed film The Normal Heart, released in 2014, which had focused on the AIDS epidemic in the United States. The film’s win in arguably one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, along with its garnered numerous acclaims allows it to join the list of the few LGBT films that have truly shaped and represented the struggles, and the heart of the community; a kind of raw and unadulterated media representation that the world still needs as we enter LGBT Pride month this June.
Check out the other Cannes 2017 main competition winners below.
The Square (Ruben Ostlund)
120 Beats per Minute (Robin Campillo)
Special 70th Anniversary Prize
Nicole Kidman was awarded the special prize which exists in in celebration of the festivals 70th anniversary. Kidman appears in 4 Cannes films this year: The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, How to Talk to Girls at Paries, and Top of the Lake: China Girl.
The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola)
Sofia Coppola ended a 56-year drought after being the first female to win the Best Director award for her Southern period thriller since Russian director Yuliya Solntseva in 1961.
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay)
Best Actor, Joaquin Phoenix
You Were Never Really Here is a thriller directed by Lynne Ramsay with Phoenix at its helm, playing a war veteran who attempts to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring.
In the Fade
Best Actress, Diane Kruger
Diane Kruger leads the German drama In the Fade, as a vengeful widower whose life collapses after the deaths of her husband and son in a bombing. The film was directed by Fatih Akin.
Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Loveless is a Russian drama focusing on the lives of a couple in the midst of a divorce as they try to find their son who had fled in between one of their arguments.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Best Screenplay, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou
You Were Never Really Here
Best Screenplay, Lynne Ramsay
The Best screenplay award saw a tie between the psychological thriller-horror flick, The Killing of A Sacred Deer, from writers Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, and You Were Never Really Here by writer and director Lynne Ramsay.–PB&Jam