A Hungarian love story about two slaughterhouse workers who connect in shared dreams won the top award Saturday at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
“On Body and Soul” by writer-director Ildiko Enyedi contrasts the harsh reality of the abattoir with the magical world of slumber.
Enyedi was previously best known for her 1989 debut film, “My 20th Century,” which won the Golden Camera award in Cannes that year.
The Golden Bear had been expected to go to the comedy “The Other Side of Hope,” which instead earned veteran filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki a Silver Bear for best director. The film sees a young Syrian refugee befriending a grouchy Finn, with Kaurismaki’s deadpan humor delivering poignant messages about the horrors of war and the current refugee crisis in Europe.
The jury award went to “Felicite,” a film by French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis about a singer in a Congolese night club.
South Korea’s Kim Min-hee received the best actress award for her role in “On the Beach at Night Alone,” about a woman coming to terms with the end of an affair.
Georg Friedrich from Austria was named best actor for “Bright Nights,” in which he portrays a father trying to reconnect with his teenage son.
“A Fantastic Woman” by Chilean director Sebastian Lelio received a Silver Bear for best screenplay, shared with Gonzalo Maza. It tells the tale of a transgender woman mourning for her dead lover even as most of those around her remain unwilling to empathize.
The jury also awarded Dana Bunescu a prize for outstanding artistic contribution for her editing of “Ana, mon amour,” about a Romanian couple struggling to make their relationship work despite mental illness.
A final Silver Bear award for features that “open new perspective” went to movie “Spoor,” a murder mystery set in rural Poland.