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Jury meets pres in Cannes and justifies choices

For the third consecutive year in the history of the Festival de Cannes , the Jury met the press to explain their selected winners. At the side of President Wong Kar Wai were Patrice Leconte, Monica Bellucci, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, Lucrecia Martel, Elia Suleiman and Zhang Ziyi. Highlights.

On the Palme d'Or winner:
Wong Kar Wai: "We chose from the heart. The selection was great, which made our viewing enjoyable but our work very hard. This year, there were so many great films and there are some films that we want to mention here because we also think they are great films: the Chinese film Summer Palace, the Italian film The Family Friend by Paolo Sorrentino and the Portuguese film Buenos Aires, 1977 by Pedro Costa. Because the films moved us. We thought there was going to be a long discussion, but in fact this is the first prize we decided today in one round of vote and it was unanimous."
Helena Bonham Carter: " Ken Loach's film came very early on and that absolutely shattered and broke, so intense and viscerally moving. There's no explaining it; it hit us all profoundly. It was one of five films about war. It was not only a fantastic education about the Irish problem, but it also was emotionally for me because I could understand something that I thought I could never understand. It led me to believe how somebody could kill his own brother. For me, it had tremendous humanity. I can't explain our mass reaction; we were just all profoundly moved."
Patrice Leconte: "When I saw Ken Loach's film the first day, it filled me with enormous emotion that has never left me. And when we'd see other films day after day, we talked together about what we had felt. In a corner of our hearts, < b>The Wind That Shakes the Barley remained there, as strong as ever. That is why, this morning, in the space of a very short time, this film was unanimously chosen to be the Palme d'Or."
Tim Roth : "I discovered from Ken's movie on that I am a complete weeper. I just cried a lot in these movies. Normally, when I'm acting in films, they blow stuff in my eyes and I cry. These films really took me and took my heart."
Elia Suleiman: "Ce que j'ai vu dans ce film ne ressemble à notre politique ou humanitaire en Palestine. Je suis tout de suite tombé amoureux du film de Ken Loach. Après l'avoir vu ensemble, on s'est réuni mais sans parler pendant une cinquantaine de minutes, on ne pouvait plus parler. C'est un film merveilleusement construit et interprété. Il y a pas un temps mort et aucune critique n'a été mentionnée à son sujet par le Jury. Il est quand même passé au début du Festival et on a tendance à oublier les films au fil des jours. Ce ne fut pas le cas avec Le Vent se Lève."

On the ensemble cast awards:
Wong Kar Wai: "It's really an exceptional year for actors and we see, like Volver, it is like what the title suggests; it is Almodovar's style revisited, with his actresses from his first film to his latest and it is a collective work. It's like a family and the film is about family, so we wanted to highlight that spirit. And the same applies to the Days of Glory. It's about these guys, five persons fighting this war, not only about war and racism and inequalities. Their performance is complementary. There's not only one person; it's like a team. It's not by coincidence or that we want to create a symmetry, because we took the result of these films and they tell us that we should do that."
Samuel L. Jackson : "We did think that all these actors complemented each other, that the success of both those stories with these actors acting in concert, and their ability to communicate to us the unity of purpose and the professionalism that they all showed. We're very comfortable with the fact that the ensembles got the awards."

On the themes of colonialism and imperialism:
Elia Suleiman: "I think what is very interesting about the films in this competition is that a lot of them are actually engaged with the issues of the world today. And I don't think it's by accident. We are living in a troubled, global atmosphere and it's absolutely natural that all these films are actually dealing with such issues. We talked mostly about the way it told a story, it was about the narrative structure, it was about beauty, it was about innovative elements of cinema. We were very unsympathetic to just the subject. We wanted to know how the subject was being told and this is what this jury was about."

The final word by Patrice Leconte:
"When we exchange sadness and regrets one after another concerning the Italian film, the Kaurismaki film, the Chinese film, all that is true. But that must not give the impression that we don't like the films which we awarded. For the chosen films, we love them in one voice. There are those other films that we adore as well, but unfortunately, they couldn't be included in the awards."


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