Director of ‘Okja’ wins Cannes top prize for South Korean satire ‘Parasite’

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (L) with his Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) for the movie 'Parasite' with President of the Jury, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (R) during the Closing Awards Ceremony of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 25 May 2019. EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO

Parasite, a suspenseful dark comedy about class struggles directed by South Korea‘s Bong Joon-Ho, won the top Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

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The award adds to a successful run at the French cinema showcase for Asian films after Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda clinched the prestigious gong last year.

Bong, who made his mark at Cannes in 2017 with Netflix-produced Okja, set his latest movie in modern South Korea.

It follows a down-on-their-luck family of four who spot an opportunity to con a wealthy household into giving them jobs.

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They worm their way into the other family’s lives – before things start going south.

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This year’s Cannes film festival also shone a light on newcomers, in an unusually crowded field.

Atlantics, a ghost story about migrants directed by Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop, won the runner-up Grand Prix award.

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The movie, based on her 2009 short documentary, was Diop’s first feature-length film.

Spain’s Antonio Banderas won the male acting prize for his role as a tortured filmmaker in Pedro Almodovar’s loosely biographical Pain And Glory – one of the films that had been tipped for the top honour.

Britain’s Emily Beecham was crowned best actress after starring in Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe as a botanist who starts having doubts about her latest genetically-modified creation when it begins to affect her loved ones.

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