The Japanese film Shoplifters has been the big winner at the Cannes Film Festival, taking the prestigious top prize, the Palme d’Or, at the closing of the festival Saturday night.

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, the story about a family of petty criminals scraping together a living in downtown Tokyo, was the surprise winner over 21 other films, including American director Spike Lee’s anti-Trump comedy BlacKkKlansman, which received the runner-up Grand Prix prize, and Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, who won third prize for her film, Capernaum.

Cannes jury president Cate Blanchett says choosing a winner of the 71st film festival “was bloody difficult,” but that Shoplifters was a painful and extraordinary film, and “the ending blew us out of the cinema.”

Last year’s winner, Robert Ostlund’s The Square, went on to score an Oscar nomination for Sweden for best foreign language film.

Shoplifters will premiere in Japan in June with wider release worldwide later in 2018.

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