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Accepting one of global cinema's most coveted honours from jury president Cate Blanchett, Japanese veteran director Hirokazu Kore-eda said movies made him hopeful for the state of the world.

Japan wins Cannes top prize after Weinstein accuser takes stage

Sun, May 20, 2018 13:07

Cannes (France), May 20, 2018 (News Wires) - "Shoplifters", a heartwrenching family tale by Japanese veteran director Hirokazu Kore-eda, won the Palme d'Or top prize at the Cannes film festival on Saturday, at a ceremony marked by an emotional speech from a Harvey Weinstein accuser.

Spike Lee accepted the runner-up Grand Prix for "BlacKkKlansman", a searing broadside against racism with the stranger-than-fiction true story of an African-American police officer who manages to infiltrate the highest levels of the Ku Klux Klan.

Jury president Cate Blanchett said the film, which explicitly links the 1970s tale and white nationalism in the Trump era, "blew us out of the cinema".

But the most stunning moment of the night came when Italian star Asia Argento, who has said she was raped by Weinstein at Cannes in 1997, took the microphone and vowed to fight for justice for other victims.

"This festival was his hunting ground," said Argento, who says she was 21 when Weinstein attacked her in his hotel room.

"Even tonight sitting among you there are those who still have to be held accountable for their conduct against women. We know who you are and we are not going to allow you to get away with it any longer," she said to cheers from the audience.

Minutes before the actress took the stage police in Paris said they had opened a criminal probe against one of France's best-known directors, "The Fifth Element" maker Luc Besson, for allegedly raping an actress.

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