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Ildikò Enyedi’s On Body and Soul

Ildikò Enyedi’s Hungarian feature On Body and Soul – the unusual love story of two damaged souls trying to make contact in a harsh world – was the big winner on the night taking home the Golden Bear for best film in the Competition as well as the Ecumenical and FIPRESCI juries’ prizes for best film in the Official Competition and the Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Award.

Enyedi’s film – which is handled internationally by Berlin-based sales agent Films Boutique and had been hotly tipped for the Golden Bear – is the second Hungarian film to win Berlin’s top award after Márta Mészáros’ Adoption in 1975.

Enyedi, who returned to Berlin from Budapest at the crack of dawn on Saturday to collect her award, is the fifth woman filmmaker in the Competition’s history to garner the Golden Bear after Mészáros, Russian filmmaker Larisa Shepitko with The Ascent in 1977, Bosnia’s Jasmila Zbanic with Grbavica in 2006 and Peru’s Claudia Llosa with The Milk Of Sorrow in 2009.

Before announcing the winner of the golden statuette, jury president Paul Verhoeven told the audience that they would be seeing ¨two people connected in quite an amazing way. The jury fell in love with this movie not only because of its superior craftsmanship, but because it reminds us of one word we use too easily: compassion.¨

¨We wanted to present you a very simple film like a glass of water,¨ Enyedi explained. ¨It was risky, all of my team believed in it, but we couldn’t know if the audience would join us because this film is only approchable with a generous heart.¨