Haru Kuroki scoops best actress award at 64th Berlin film festival

Kyodo

Haru Kuroki won the Silver Bear for best actress at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday for her part in Yoji Yamada’s “The Little House.”

“I never thought I’d be able to appear on this stage,” Kuroki said at the awards ceremony. “I owe director Yamada, who made the great movie.”

The film, based on the namesake novel by Kyoko Nakajima, depicts the furtive love affair of a wife in a bourgeoisie family set in Tokyo in the 1940s. Kuroki plays Take, the housemaid loyal to the wife.

Kuroki, 23, has so far played parts in a theatrical play by Hideki Noda, the film “The Great Passage” and the TV drama series “Jun to Ai.”

She is the fourth Japanese actress to win the award at the Berlin film festival, following Sachiko Hidari in 1964, Kinuyo Tanaka in 1975 and Shinobu Terajima in 2010. This was Yamada’s fifth entry at the Berlin festival, and Kuroki’s award is the first major feat related to his work.

The Golden Bear, which is the festival’s top award, went to “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” by director Diao Yinan. The suspense film from China is about a suspended police officer who is investigating unsolved murders and discovers that a young woman was behind them.

The festival’s jury of children and teens for the Generation Kplus competition category gave “special mention,” or second prize, to director Masakazu Sugita’s first feature film, “Hitono Nozomino Yorokobiyo” (“Joy of Man’s Desiring”), about the lives of a young girl and her little brother after they are orphaned by a major earthquake.