Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Winner

Sep 6, 2014 at 11:14 am |
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Swedish director Roy Andersson holds the Golden Lion for Best Film he received for his movie 'A Pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existence' during the awards ceremony on the closing day of the 71st Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2014 at Venice Lido. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Swedish director Roy Andersson holds the Golden Lion on the closing day of the 71st Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2014 Credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

VENICE, September 6, 2014 (AFP) – Swedish director Roy Andersson‘s film “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”, a series of comedic sketches exploring the human condition, won the Golden Lion for best movie at the Venice film festival Saturday.

The eccentric film, which features salesmen flogging novelty items, singing bar women and a sex-mad flamenco dancer, was hailed by critics in Venice for its distinctive look and moving exploration of what it means to be human.

Collecting the prize, Andersson told the audience in English that he had been inspired by Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 “Bicycle Thieves” — an emblem of Neorealism filmmaking — particularly the scene in the pawnshop, because the character “discovers Rome’s poor”.

“It’s a humanistic scene, it’s true empathy. That’s what a movie should be,” he said.

US actor Adam Driver, from the HBO series “Girls”, won best actor for his portrayal of a desperate father trying to save his baby son’s life in Italian Saverio Costanzo’s New-York based tale “Hungry Hearts”.

VENICE, ITALY - AUGUST 31: Actor Adam Driver attends the 'Hungry Hearts' premiere during the 71st Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2014 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 31: Actor Adam Driver attends the ‘Hungry Hearts’ premiere during the 71st Venice Film Festival on August 31, 2014 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

“Adi made this film because he wanted to meet the perpetrators and have them accept what they’d done so he could pardon them,” Oppenheimer said by video link about the protagonist of his work.

The only person in the documentary who accepts responsibility, however, is the daughter of an ageing murderer.

“We in the West should follow this daughter’s example of dignity, acknowledge our own role in the genocide and our collective responsibility for these crimes,” Oppenheimer said.

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Swedish film wins Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion.