Berlin film festival honours eastern European movie-makers

Two low-budget films, one from Romania and the other from Bosnia, take top prizes for portrayals of post-communist life

Eastern European film-makers basked in the limelight at the weekend after two low-budget pictures snapped up the top prizes at Berlin's international film festival.

The Berlinale's first prize, the Golden Bear, was awarded to a quasi-documentary-style Romanian film, Pozitia Copilului, or Child's Pose, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, a standard-bearer for the critically acclaimed new wave of film-making in his country. Starring Luminita Gheorghiu in a fearsome performance, the film tells the story of a mother's desperate and often illegal attempts to save her son from prosecution after he knocks down and kills an impoverished teenager.

Netzer said it reflected the "moral malaise of Romania's corruption-ridden middle classes". It also fitted the festival's penchant for delivering contemporary social drama with a strong political message.

The Bosnian documentary drama An Episode in
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