Haru Kuroki took home the Silver Bear award for best actress at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. The 23-year old actress received the award for her performance as a loyal housemaid in the movie Chiisai Ouchi (“The Little House”) by Yoji Yamada.
“The Little House” is a story of a clandestine love affair of wife from a bourgeois family in wartime Tokyo. It was told through the eyes of Take, housemaid to the wife involved in the illicit relationship. The movie is an adaptation of the novel with the same name written by Kyoko Nakajima. Kuroki is famous for her role in the TV drama series Jun to Ai, the movie “The Great Passage,” and for the parts she played in plays by Hideki Noda. She is the fourth Japanese to have won the best actress award in the Berlin Film Festival. Kuroki follows Shinobu Terajima in 2010, Kinuyo Tanaka in 1975 and Sachiko Hidari in 1964. While accepting her award, Kuroki mentioned her disbelief in winning, “I never thought I’d be able to appear on this stage.” Thanking the director, she said, “I owe director Yamada, who made the great movie.” “The Little House” is Yamada’s fifth entry in the competition division of the film festival and his first in the past six years.
Chinese director Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice won the film festival’s top award, the Golden Bear. Meanwhile, the jury for children and teens for the Generation Kplus category awarded “special mention,” or second prize, to Hitono Nozomino Yorokobiyo (“Joy of Man’s Desiring”) by Masakazu Sugita. This was his first feature film, about two siblings orphaned by a huge earthquake.
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