Anti-Bush polemic wins Palme d'Or

US director Michael Moore's savage indictment of George Bush's "war on terror" has won the top award at the prestigious Cannes film festival.

    Moore thinks Bush is the dumbest president in US history

    Fahrenheit 9/11, an


    documentary that tears into Bush

     in the run-up to November's presidential election, won the Palme d'Or on Saturday.

    "I have this great hope that things are going to change," t

    he Oscar-winning director, overwhelmed by the standing ovation, 


    "I want

    to make sure if I do nothing else for this year that those who

    have died in Iraq have not died in vain."

    Moore was the big winner on a night otherwise dominated by

    Asian films which took three top prizes to show they are now a

    major force in world cinema.

    Moore's diatribe focuses on how America and the White House

    reacted to the 11 September 2001 hijacking attacks and traces

    links between the Bush family and prominent Saudis including

    the family of Usama bin Ladin.

    Iraq war

    It then switches to the war in Iraq with graphic footage of

    Iraqi wounded and prisoners being abused by American troops.

    "I have this great hope that things are going to change.

    I want

    to make sure if I do nothing else for this year that those who

    have died in Iraq have not died in vain"

    Michael Moore,
    documentary filmmaker

    Fahrenheit 9/11 had already whipped up an international

    media storm after Walt Disney barred its Miramax

    film unit from releasing such a politically polarising work in a

    US election year.

    Miramax is negotiating to buy back distribution rights from

    Disney in the hope of releasing the film in the US in July.

    Two years ago, the director's anti-gun lobby documentary

    Bowling for Columbine won a special prize at Cannes and went

    on to gross $120 million worldwide and win him an Oscar.

    Thanking the jury headed by cult director Quentin Tarantino,

    Moore said: "You will ensure that the American people will see

    this movie."

    Moore's win capped a politically charged festival with

    documentaries and films reflecting troubled times and French

    showbusiness workers staging demonstrations and sit-ins to

    protest against cuts in their welfare benefits.

    Asian success

    Tarantino, who screened his Kill Bill revenge saga out of

    competition, also rewarded Asian films reflecting his passion

    for martial arts movies.

    However, the best actor award was a surprise, going to

    14-year-old Japanese actor Yagura Yuuyi for his captivating

    performance in Nobody Knows, about four children abandoned by

    their mother in Tokyo to fend for themselves.

    Tarantino rewarded Asian films
    in this year's ceremony 

    Yagura missed the awards ceremony because he had to return

    to Japan to sit school exams.

    The best actress award went to China's Maggie Cheung for her

    role as a woman trying to kick a drug habit and win back her son

    in Clean, by French director Olivier Assayas.

    The Grand Prix went to ultra-violent Korean film Old Boy,

    the story of a man imprisoned for 15 years who must find out who

    captured him and why.

    France also enjoyed two awards. Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre

    Bacri won the best screenplay award for Jaoui's film Comme une

    Image, the tale of a 20-year-old desperate for love and

    attention from her callous father.

    And Tony Gatlif was named best director for Exils, about a man

    going back to Algeria from France to find his roots.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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