An Italian movie about love and sex in an old people's home won the Golden Bear award for best picture at the Berlin Film Festival, edging out the acclaimed U.S. western "Dances With Wolves."
"La Casa del Sorriso" ("House of Smiles") was directed by Marco Ferreri, best known for his 1973 film "La Grande Bouffe," a satire about wealthy people who literally eat themselves to death.In Ferreri's movie, Ingrid Thulin, star of many Ingmar Bergman films, plays 70-year-old Adelina who once won a beauty contest and gains the heart of Andrea, a fellow resident in a retirement home, played by Dado Ruspoli, with the help of her alluring dentures.
Kevin Costner won a Silver Bear for best individual achievement as producer, actor and director in "Dances With Wolves," about the impact of white settlers on Sioux Indian life. It has been nominated for 12 Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony next month.
Maynard Eziashi took the Silver Bear award for best actor in his screen debut as the imaginative but dishonest black clerk in "Mr. Johnson," set in British colonial Nigeria.
Adapted from Joyce Cary's 1939 novel, the film shows how Claude Johnson tries to rise in the British colonial administration by forsak-ing his tribal roots for white values, only to fall into thievery and living beyond his means.
Some critics accused director Bruce Beresford, acclaimed for "Driving Miss Daisy," and Eziashi, a Nigerian, of reviving racial stereotypes with "Mr. Johnson." But the pair said they were illuminating an important aspect of race relations. The film retained Cary's criticism of the devastating impact of colonialism on African communities.
Victoria Abril was cited as best actress in "Amantes" (Lovers), playing a sexy widow in Franco-era Spain who seduces her young boarder and then induces him to kill his beautiful fiancee.
"Amantes," directed by Vicento Aranda and starring Jorge Sanz opposite Abril, is based on a true story.
The best-director award was shared by Italy's Ricky Tognazzi for "Ultra," about soccer hooligans, and America's Jonathan Demme, for "The Silence of the Lambs," a grisly psychological thriller about a hunt for a mass murderer.
Italy's "La Condanna" ("The Judgment"), about a rape trial, and the Soviet Union's "Satana" ("Satan"), about a child kidnapping, won a special Silver Bear for showing "a special sense of urgency" about their sensitive subjects.
Some 25 feature films from 17 countries vied for prizes. The festival screened more than 700 movies in all, including retrospectives of the Cold War era and the pictures of Hollywood stars Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.