Banned Iranian director wins Berlin Golden Bear

A dissident Iranian film director, Mohammad Rasoulof, has won the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival for his drama about the death penalty in his home country.

There is No Evil won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival

There is No Evil – with four loosely related stories critical of Iran’s judicial system and the effect it has on life in the country – took the Golden Bear, but Rasoulof is banned from leaving Iran, so accepting the award on his behalf, his producer thanked “the amazing cast and crew who, put their lives in danger to be on this film”.

Rasoulof is also banned from making films for life. After winning the Golden Bear, he addressed a news conference via a video call on a mobile phone, saying his film was about taking responsibility, rather than passing the buck to the government.

The runner-up Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to Eliza Hittman for her teenage abortion drama, Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

The jury named Paula Beer the best actress for her role in Undine, and Italy’s Elio Germano won the best actor prize for his portrayal of the painter Antonio Ligabue in Hidden Away.

He also appeared in Bad Tales, which won the best screenplay award.

After Parasite’s Oscar wins, there was more success for South Korea on the international stage as Hong Sangsoo was named the best director for The Woman Who Ran.

The French comedy Delete History won the 70th Anniversary Silver Bear – a new award to replace the long-running Alfred Bauer prize, after it emerged that the festival’s founding director had been a high-ranking Nazi.