BERLIN - Director Wang Quan'an's "Tuya's Marriage," which follows the
troubles of a young shepherdess in fast-changing rural China, won the top Golden
Bear award at the annual Berlin film festival on Saturday.
"Tuya's Marriage" was chosen
from among 22 competitors at the festival by a seven-member jury led by "Taxi
Driver" screenwriter Paul Schrader.
Director Wang Quan'an and
actress Yu Nan pose with their Golden Bear during a press conference after
the awards ceremony at the 57th Berlinale International Film Festival in
Berlin February 17, 2007. Wang won the award for the Best Film ''Tuya's
"A very beautiful dream has become reality for me here," director Wang said
after receiving the Golden Bear statuette. He said he believed the award "will
bring good fortune to Chinese cinema."
The movie stars Yu Nan as Tuya, a herdswoman on the steppe of Inner Mongolia
trying to resist pressure to leave her pastures and move to the city as China's
She and her handicapped husband, Bater, decide to get divorced after she
falls ill, and Tuya seeks a respectable new husband who can look after Bater and
her two children. An old classmate appears to fill that role, and he persuades
Tuya and the children to move to town.
"You see in the film how things disappear - cultural things as well - through
this rapid economic expansion," Wang, speaking through an interpreter, said at a
The best actor award went to Argentina's Julio Chavez for his role in
director Ariel Rotter's "El Otro" ("The Other") as Juan, a man who decides to
take on a new identity amid a crisis triggered by his wife's pregnancy and his
Best actress was Germany's Nina Hoss for her role in "Yella," directed by
Christian Petzold. Hoss plays the heroine of the film's title, a young woman who
quits her job and broken marriage and moves from eastern Germany to the west,
and is increasingly haunted by voices and sounds from the past.
US-born Israeli director Joseph Cedar won the best director award for
"Beaufort," depicting the fear and futility felt by soldiers guarding a famed
military outpost in southern Lebanon just before Israel's withdrawal from that
country in 2000.
"It seems pretty obvious that we're against war and that war is horrible -
hopefully there's something in my film that gives insight into a more specific
nature of how absurd combat ... is," Cedar said.
The Berlinale's top prize has often gone to less heralded productions such as
"Tuya's Marriage," which was one of two Chinese entries at this year's festival.
Last year's Golden Bear went to "Grbavica," a film by Jasmila Zbanic on the
aftermath of the Bosnian war.
On Saturday, the cast of Robert De Niro's "The Good Shepherd" - which traces
the origins of the CIA through the eyes of one of its earliest agents, played by
Matt Damon - won the festival's award for an outstanding artistic contribution,
but the movie missed out on the top prizes.
Other US entries - including Steven Soderbergh's "The Good German" and
Gregory Nava's "Bordertown," starring Jennifer Lopez - came away empty-handed.
So did a strong contingent of four films by French directors гн including
Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose" and Francois Ozon's English-language "Angel."
The award for best music went to Scottish director David Mackenzie for
"Hallam Foe." South Korean director Park Chan-wook's "I'm A Cyborg, But That's
OK" was honored as a work of particular innovation.
The Berlin festival, in its 57th edition this year, opened on February 8 and