Jan Hřebejk's latest film, Kawasaki's Rose, was selected for the Panorama section at this year's Berlinale, where it also opened the section. While the films from this section are included in the festival's official competition, they are also eligible for "best film in section" prizes from the independent juries (the same goes for movies in another informative section, Forum).
On Saturday, February 20, at the awards ceremony of independent juries at the Berlinale, the Ecumenical Jury bestowed upon Kawasaki's Rose a financial prize of 2,500 Euro.
The jury, which this year included panelists Werner Schneider-Quindeau (president), Philip Lee, Ylva Liljeholm, Markus Leniger, Edgar Rubio and Alberto Ramos Ruiz, said of its decision:
"The film recounts an episode in the life of a distinguished psychologist who deals with memory and who has previously betrayed a friend who was then forced to emigrate. The film explores questions of truth-telling and lying, responsibility and forgiveness, both within society and within the family. It emphasizes the importance of collective and personal memory in a context of rebuilding a post-totalitarian country."
Shortly thereafter, Jan Hřebejk's Kawasaki's Rose was awarded a second prize for best film in the Panorama section, this time from the International Confederation of Art House Cinemas (C.I.C.A.E.), whose jurists included Volker Kufahl (DE), Rosa Maino (CH) and Nikos Grigoriadis (AT). Founded in 1955 and representing upwards of 2,000 member cinemas, the C.I.C.A.E.'s mission is to improve the quality of films in cinemas and to promote cultural diversity. The jury explained its decision thusly:
"A psychoanalyst and former dissident is getting an award for his civil rights engagement. But, did he always act correctly? Only revealing personal failures allows a collective discussion about right and wrong. Visually strong, intelligent and entertaining, Jan Hřebejk's movie confronts the audience with universal questions of our recent past?