'Sorrow's' happy day

Political drama wins Berlinale's Golden Bear

"The Milk of Sorrow," from Peruvian director Claudia Llosa, won the Golden Bear for best film at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival.

In the politically tinged drama, which has elements of magic realism, a disease is passed from mothers to daughters through breast milk. It turns out the mothers were victims of the decades-long battle between the Peruvian government and Shining Path terrorists.

"Sorrow" wasn't the only South American title to win big in Berlin. Argentinian filmmaker Adrian Biniez won the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear for his debut, "Gigante," sharing the honor with "Everyone Else," the sophomore feature from German director Maren Ade.

"Gigante," which follows a supermarket security guard and his obsession with the shop's nighttime cleaner, also picked up the award for best first feature and shared the Alfred Bauer Prize — given in honor of the Berlinale's founder — with "Tatarak," from Polish director Andrzej Wajda.

The best actress Silver Bear went to Germany's Birgit Minichmayr for her role in "Everyone Else" as an energetic woman in a complicated relationship. Minichmayr, an up-and-comer, beat out presumed favorites Brenda Blethyn ("London River") and Renee Zellweger ("My One and Only").

But Blethyn's "River" co-star Sotigui Kouyate took the best actor Silver Bear for his stirring performance as a father looking for his lost son in the wake of the 2005 London terrorist bombings.

Iranian drama "About Elly," which many had tipped to take the top prize, took the best director Silver Bear for Asghar Farhadi.

Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon won the best script Silver Bear for "The Messenger." (partialdiff)