Hungarian slaughterhouse love story wins top prize at Berlin film festival

Hungarian slaughterhouse love story wins top prize at Berlin film festival.

On Body and Soul took the Golden Bear, beating odds-on favourite The Other Side of Hope, which came away with best director for Aki Kaurismaki.

Hungary’s On Body and Soul, a tender love story set in a slaughterhouse, won the Golden Bear top prize Saturday at the Berlin film festival, Europe’s first major cinema showcase of the year.

The drama by Ildiko Enyedi, one of four female film-makers in competition, features graphic scenes in an abattoir set against the budding romance of two people who share a recurring dream.

The win marked an upset at the 11-day Berlinale, where a European refugee comedy by cult Finnish film-maker Aki Kaurismaki, The Other Side of Hope, had been the odds-on favourite. Kaurismaki took the Silver Bear for best director.

Enyedi thanked the festival for embracing her first full-length feature in 18 years but said working conditions in Hungary were growing more difficult under prime minister Viktor Orban.

“We live in a more and more absurd country, frighteningly absurd country,” she told reporters after the ceremony, while adding that the state film fund served as a “sort of island … We can work there at relative freedom, peace and we get professional support.”