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For once, the best film won. Though the jury at Tokyo International Film Festival has erred in the past, there could be few complaints about this year’s choices. Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” was a worthy recipient of the Tokyo Grand Prix: An emotionally devastating portrait of ordinary people coping with a very contemporary tragedy, it left me shaken for days.

The Special Jury Prize winner, Michael Noer’s “Before the Frost,” was the kind of grim morality tale that Rainer Werner Fassbinder might have appreciated. Set in 19th century Denmark, it charted the efforts of an aging cattle farmer to stop his family from slipping deeper into poverty, sacrificing his integrity in the process. It was a familiar story, but brilliantly told, and Jesper Christensen picked up a well-deserved best actor award for his performance.

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