Thursday, October 25, 2007

Inaugural 2007 Lux Prize to Fatih Akin's Film

Hans-Gert Pottering (r) giving the Lux prize to Hanna Schygulla and Klaus Maek, producer of Fatih Akin's "Auf des anderen seite". The new prize, the Prix LUX, was picked directly by the 785 elected members of the European Parliament in Brussels. The Parliament will then pay to subtitle and produce prints of the winning film in all 23 of the E.U.'s official languages.

Three films were contending for the first edition of the European Parliament's "Prix LUX" film prize, which wasawarded on 24 October during the October plenary session in Strasbourg. This prize - created by the European Parliament Bureau in 2006 and with which the Culture and Education Committee is closely associated - is awarded in recognition of films illustrating the values and diversity of European cultures or which inform debate on ideas about building Europe. Thre three films in contention for the 2007 prize were shown from 1 to 18 October at the European Parliament in Brussels.

They were:
-Auf der anderen Seite, by Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven)
-4 luni, 3 saptamini si 2 zile, by Cristian Mungiu (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
-Belle toujours, by Manoel di Oliveira

All three were chosen, according to an E.U. spokesman, for their role in "illuminating the public debate on European integration." The politics are evident in Mungiu's drama, which follows two desperate women trying to arrange an illegal abortion amid the terror of the Chauchesku dictatorship. Or in Akin's multifaceted drama, which traces the lives of six people caught between the culture and politics that divide Turkey from Europe. There is less obvious politics in Oliveira's drama which is an update, 38 years later, of Luis Bunuel's erotic masterpiece "Belle de jour" (1967).

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