Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz’s period drama The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar section at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday. Set between 1951 and 1958, the film traces the lives of two sisters, Euridice (Carol Duarte) and Guida (Julia Stockler), who battle prejudice and oppression in Brazil.
“I’m very proud to represent Brazil,” Ainouz said at the awards ceremony, The Hollywood Reporter reported. “We are going through something in Brazil now that is very very hard that has to do with intolerance.” The awards were presented by jury president and Lebanese director-actress Nadine Labaki, whose Capernaum competed for a Palme d’Or at Cannes last year and was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar this year.
Of the 18 titles in contention in the Un Certain Regard section, Bruno Dumont’s Joan of Arc won the special mention honour, Olivier Laxe’s Fire Will Come got the Jury prize, and Albert Serra’s Liberte bagged the special jury prize.
Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov’s historical drama Beanpole won the Best Director prize. Inspired by Svetlana Alexievich’s book The Unwomanly Face of War, the film follows the friendship between two women after the siege of Leningrad following World War II in 1945. Chiara Mastroianni was awarded the best performance prize for her role in Christophe Honore’s comedy On a Magical Night.
The section’s special award, the Coup de Coeur, was picked up by Monia Chokri’s A Brother’s Love and Michael Angelo Covino’s The Climb. Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire won this year’s Queer Palm award in a separate ceremony on Friday. The Queer Palm award is selected from LGBTQ-themed films across sections. Sciamma’s eighteenth-century set movie, about the relationship between a painter and her model, is also tipped to win the Palme d’Or, or the top award at Cannes.