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South Korean social satire "Parasite" wins Palme d'Or at Cannes

By Sarah White
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72nd Cannes Film Festival - Closing ceremony

72nd Cannes Film Festival - Closing ceremony - Cannes, France, May 25, 2019. Director Bong Joon-ho, Palme d'Or award winner for his film "Parasite" (Gisaengchung), reacts. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

By Sarah White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - "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.

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.

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

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.

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.


(Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Inti Landauro)