Julia Ducournau is the second woman to win a Palme d’Or in Cannes after Jane Campion, in 1993, for “The Piano Lesson”.

Julia Ducournau

The film divided critics and audiences

Singular and audacious filmmaker, fascinated by the transformations of the body, Julia Ducournau, 37, won the Palme d’Or on Saturday evening in Cannes with “Titane“, a transgender, radical and incandescent film. The jury, chaired by Spike Lee, crowned a furiously contemporary film which tells the ties woven between a survivor of a car accident and an anabolic firefighter who is not recovering from the death of his son. The film divided critics and audiences, in particular because of scenes deemed repulsive. “The monstrosity that scares some people and crosses my work is a weapon and a force to push back the walls of normativity that lock us up and separate us,” she said, very moved, receiving hands by Sharon Stone the Palme d’Or.

She had already caused a sensation in Cannes

Julia Ducournau

But before “Titanium”, the most violent and disturbing work of the competition, Julia Ducournau had already caused a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 with her first feature film, “Grave“, a learning story of a post-adolescent cannibal. The film had been banned for those under 16 and had caused unease in Cannes, due to the rawness of certain bloody scenes – depilation ending with the tasting of a finger or half-eaten body discovered on waking. Daughter of cinephile doctors – dermatologist father and gynecologist mother – Julia Ducournau finds in her childhood the origins of this fascination for the most disturbing and trivial aspects of the human body. “Since I was little, I have heard my parents talk about medicine, without taboo. It was their daily life. I had my nose stuck in their books”, she said when “Grave” was released, pointing out that for her, “death, decay was normalized”.

Julia Ducournau

Titane, a violent, aesthetic and controversial feature film

Born November 18, 1983 in Paris. In 2007, as part of her studies in the screenplay department of La Fémis (from which she graduated in 2008), she attended a screenwriting workshop at Columbia University in New York under the tutorship of playwright Israel Horowitz. Julia Ducournau was noticed by film professionals in 2011 with her 3rd short film, Junior, a film which humorously and crudely examines the monstrous transformation of a teenager’s body. Six years later, her first feature film, Grave, is in the same vein. If she leaves empty-handed from the Césars where he is nominated in six categories, Grave makes it possible to launch the career of her director, who appears as a dazzling revelation within genre cinema in France. After directing the first two episodes of season 2 of Servant, a horror series produced by M. Night Shyamalan, Julia Ducournau delivers her new film, Titane, in 2021. This violent, aesthetic and controversial feature film won the Palme d’Or at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

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