Chinese film victorious at San Sebastian fest
Last Updated: Saturday, September 26, 2009 | 3:46 PM ET
The Associated Press
Chinese director Lu Chuan's film City of Life and Death has won the top prize at Spain's San Sebastian Film Festival.
The movie also garnered a best cinematography award for Cao Yu.
City of Life and Death, a sensitive and balanced depiction of a traumatic moment in China's history known as the Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, deals with a six-week period in 1937-38 following the Japanese capture of the then Chinese capital.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed and tens of thousands of women raped by soldiers of the Japanese army.
"Shot in wide lens black-and-white, the film alternates Japanese and Chinese points of view to brush a compelling and impressionist portrait of the day-to-day living conditions in the devastated city," the jury said, praising Lu's focus on "the minute ethical dilemmas demanded by surviving in wartime."
The best actress award went to Lola Duenas for her performance in Spanish film Yo Tambien, while the best actor prize went to Pablo Pineda for the same film.
Pineda was the first Spanish person with Down syndrome to obtain a university degree, and he has now gained the festival's top acting award for his role as Daniel, a man who sees in Laura (Duenas) the kind of woman he has always longed for.
Javier Rebollo won the best director prize for the comedy La Mujer Sin Piano, a Spain-France collaboration.
The festival's special prize went to Le Refuge by France's François Ozon.
The best screenplay award went to Andrew Bovell, Melissa Reeves, Patricia Corneluus and Christos Tsiolkas for the Australian film Blessed.
The awards were announced Saturday by the festival's jury president, film director Laurent Cantet.
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