- Written by Francesca Gillett
- BBC News
France’s Murder Mystery “Anatomy of a Fall” took first prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Director Justine Tritt won the Palme d’Or for her tense courtroom drama, which tells the story of a writer accused of killing her husband.
She became the third female director to win the prestigious award, which was first awarded in 1955.
Her film stars German actress Sandra Hüller, who also stars in Cannes’ runner-up, The Zone of Interest.
When she accepted the award, Triet criticized the French government for its response to recent protests over pensions.
“These protests have been suppressed… in a shocking way,” she said in her speech after being handed over to Hollywood star Jane Fonda.
Triet also criticized what she described as “the government’s marketing of culture” – leading French Minister of Culture Rima Abdel Malek To answer , saying she was “astonished” by the “unfair” comments.
The grand prize, the second highest, went to British director Jonathan Glazer for The Zone of Interest, an adaptation of the late Martin Amis’ novel of the same name about a family living next door to Auschwitz.
Meanwhile, the Best Actor award went to Japan’s Koji Yakusho for his role as a middle-aged man from Tokyo who cleans toilets in the perfect days of Wim Wenders, and Turkey’s Merve Dizdar took home the Best Actress award for Dry Grasses.
French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung won Best Director for Pot-au-Feu, a love story starring Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel set in a 19th-century French chateau.
The festival was one of the biggest in years for celebrity names on the red carpet – Hollywood legends Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Quentin Tarantino, Isabella Rossellini and Sean Penn appeared.
Harrison Ford also attended to receive an honorary Palme d’Or ahead of the premiere of his new film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
The 80-year-old American star said he was “deeply moved and humbled” by being honored with the award.
The Palme d’Or is the festival’s highest award and was presented in 1955 by the festival’s organizing committee.
The Treat beat 21 other films in contention for the award, facing stiff competition from new films by acclaimed directors including Wes Anderson and Ken Loach.