There weren’t many surprises at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival awards. One of this year’s favorites, Jasmila Zbanic’s Grbavica, the story of a 12-year-old girl (Luna Mijovic, above, hugging Mirjana Karanovic) who discovers that she is the end result of a Bosnian war crime — namely, rape — was awarded the Golden Bear for best film.
Also on the political side, Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross took home the Silver Bear for best director for The Road to Guantanamo, which follows three British Muslims held at the notorious U.S. prison (located on the island of Cuba) where suspected terrorists — without having been formally charged and without access to legal representation — have been systematically tortured and abused.
The acting awards went to (equally serious) German performers: Sandra Hüller for Requiem, the tale of an epileptic Catholic woman who believes she is possessed, and Moritz Bleibtreu for his sex-obsessed high-school teacher in The Elementary Particles.
Pernille Fischer Christensen’s A Soap, a dramatic comedy about the relationship between the owner of a beauty clinic and a transsexual, won the best first feature award and shared the Special Jury Prize with Jafar Panahi’s comedy-drama Offside, about the plight of women who happen to be sports fans in Iran, a country where they’re not allowed inside stadiums.