February 19, 2012 - 15:18 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The 62nd Berlin film festival wraps up Sunday, Feb 18, after awarding its Golden Bear top prize to Italy's veteran directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani for their gripping prison docu-drama "Caesar Must Die", AFP reports.
The picture shows real-life murderers and mafiosi from a high-security jail in Rome staging Shakespeare's tragedy "Julius Caesar", with their own personal dramas giving resonance to the play's themes of betrayal and vengeance.
"We hope that when the film is released to the general public that cinemagoers will say to themselves or even those around them ... that even a prisoner with a dreadful sentence, even a life sentence, is and remains a human being," Paolo Taviani, 80, said.
His brother Vittorio, 82, read out the names of the inmates who took part in the film as he accepted the prize from the jury president, British director Mike Leigh, at a gala ceremony late Saturday.
It's worth noting here that Taviani brothers are the authors of The Lark Farm, a film about the Armenian Genocide.
The Jury Grand Prix runner-up prize went to "Just the Wind" by Bence Fliegauf, which was inspired by a spree of killings of Roma in Hungary in 2008 and 2009 in which six people died including a five-year-old boy.
Rachel Mwanza, a 14-year-old from the Democratic Republic of Congo, appearing in her first movie, the moving Canadian child soldier drama "War Witch", accepted the Silver Bear award for best actress from jury member Jake Gyllenhaal.
Denmark's Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, who played mad King Christian VII in a costume drama based on a true story, "A Royal Affair", took best actor.
The film, starring James Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen as the king's personal physician who seduced his queen and with her plotted to bring Enlightenment reforms to the tiny state, also won best screenplay.
Germany's Christian Petzold won best director for "Barbara", a haunting drama about a woman plotting to escape communist East Germany which had been tipped to win at the first major Europeanfilm festival of the year.
German cameraman Lutz Reitemeier took an award for outstanding artistic contribution for his work on the Chinese epic "White Deer Plain" by Wang Quan'an.
And the jury gave a special Silver Bear to the Swiss drama "Sister" about a young boy who steals skis from a posh Alpine resort to support himself and his older sibling.
Alongside hard-hitting international cinema, the 11-day event offered serious star wattage including Angelina Jolie presenting her directorial debut, "In the Land of Blood and Honey", and Meryl Streep accepting a Golden Bear for her life's work.