Fire at Sea, a documentary about Europe’s migrant crisis, has won the Golden Bear award for best movie at the Berlin Film Festival.
Gianfranco Rosi’s harrowing movie depicts life on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.
The best director award went to Mia Hansen-Love for Things to Come.
Majd Mastoura won best actor for his role in Inhebbek Hedi, while Trine Dyrholm took best actress for her part in the movie, Kollektivet.
Accepting the award for Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) from the jury led by American actress Meryl Streep, Rosi said: “I hope to bring awareness. It’s not acceptable that people die crossing the sea to escape from tragedies.”
The movie contrasts the ordeal of migrants as they make the sea crossing to Europe with the everyday life of the people of Lampedusa, to whom Rosi dedicated the film.
Streep said: “It’s a daring hybrid of captured footage and deliberate storytelling that allows us to consider what documentary can do. It is urgent, imaginative and necessary filmmaking.”
The French film Things to Come stars Isabelle Huppert as a teacher coping with the death of her mother and disintegration of her marriage.
Tunisian Majd Mastoura’s best actor award was for his role in a love story following the Arab Spring, while Denmark’s Trine Dyrholm plays a wronged wife in Kollektivet (The Commune).
The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Death in Sarajevo and its director Danis Tanovic.