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"Only God Forgives" Wins Sydney Film Fest

By Garth Franklin Saturday June 15th 2013 11:33PM
"Only God Forgives" Wins Sydney Film Fest

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" has won the top prize at this year's Sydney Film Festival.

Jury president Hugo Weaving says the "visually mesmerising and disturbing film" polarised the jury, but the majority decision was made to award the bleak drama the top prize of $60,000.

The film has certainly been dividing people following its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. According to people in the audience for the film in Sydney last night, big parts of the crowd "audibly turned against it".

Yet it won over quite a few others, reactions mirroring those in France - saying the film is much more akin to Refn's "Valhalla Rising" or "Bronson" than it is to "Drive".

Refn, who also won the top Sydney Film Prize in 2009 for "Bronson," says: "I am very honoured and extremely excited to have received this honourable award from a country that in my opinion has one of the great film histories of the world."

'Forgives' beat out one of the most impressive line-ups that they Sydney Film Festival has had in years, including the likes of "The Act of Killing," "For Those in Peril," "The Rocket," "Stories We Tell" and "Wadjda".

Source: iF Magazine

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