Chinese Alzheimer's documentary wins top prize at Locarno film festival

A handout picture released on August 12, 2017 by the Locarno International Film Festival shows Chinese director Wang Bing posing with the Golden Leopard (Pardo d'oro) trophy.
A handout picture released on August 12, 2017 by the Locarno International Film Festival shows Chinese director Wang Bing posing with the Golden Leopard (Pardo d'oro) trophy.PHOTO: AFP/LOCARNO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Geneva (AFP) - Mrs Fang, Chinese director Wang Bing's documentary about a family waiting to say goodbye to their elderly Alzheimer's-stricken mother, won the top prize at the Locarno film festival in Switzerland on Saturday.

The film tells the moving end-of-life story of Fang Xiuying, a farmer who has been struggling with the disease for eight years.

After a stay at a nursing home, her family brings her home, and the film focuses on their final days together before her death in 2016.

Wang is counted among China's foremost documentary film makers. French director Olivier Assayas served on this year's Locarno jury.

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Now in its 70th year, the Locarno festival takes place every summer in the picturesque Swiss town on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

The runner-up Special Jury Prize went to the Brazilian horror film Good Manners, by directors Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas, which starts with a woman hiring a maid to help with the housework before taking an unexpected, blood-drenched turn.

France's F. J. Ossang won Best Director for the film noir 9 Fingers, the organisers said.

Isabelle Huppert was named Best Actress for her role as Mrs. Hyde in the French film of the same name.

Denmark's Elliott Crosset Hove took home Best Actor for his role in the Icelandic film Winter Brothers.