“Touch Me Not”, a film about intimacy and sex that shocked some viewers with explicit scenes, won the Golden Bear prize for best film at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday.
Romanian director Adina Pintilie said she had not expected to win the award for her film, which blurs reality and fiction as it follows characters who seek intimacy yet also fear it.
Speaking at a news conference after collecting her Golden Bear trophy, Pintilie said the film invited viewers to feel empathy, embrace otherness and reconsider their ideas about everything. It holds a mirror up to the audience, she said.
“This is why I think for many people this film might not be comfortable but at the same time we challenge you, the viewer, to dialogue and to look at yourself,” Pintilie said.
The Silver Bear award for best director was given to U.S. director Wes Anderson for “Isle of Dogs” – an animated movie about a Japanese city that deports its dogs to a garbage dump island during an outbreak of canine flu.
The awards were decided by a six-person jury headed by German director Tom Tykwer. At the festival, which runs from Feb. 15 to Feb. 25, around 400 films are being screened. Of those, 19 were competing for the top Golden Bear prize.
The ‘Berlinale’ is one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world. While there was no overarching theme this year, there were many films about migration and portraits of artists.