Palestinian Wins Berlinale Award With Documentary on Israeli Prison

In Raed Andoni's 'Ghost Hunting,' which won the first-ever Silver Bear for best documentary, former inmates discuss prison life at Israel's main interrogation center.

Director Raed Andoni speaks to the audience after winning the Original Documentary Award for 'Istiyad Ashbah (Ghost Hunting)' during the award ceremony at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017.
Markus Schreiber/AP

Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni won Saturday the Berlinale's first-ever Silver Bear for best documentary for "Istiyad Ashbah" ("Ghost Hunting"), in which former inmates reenact events at Israel's main interrogation center.

In the film, Andoni recreates the interrogation rooms and cells at the Moskobiya interrogation center, which acts as the backdrop to the former inmates discussing prison life and the humiliation they experienced during their detention.

Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi's romantic fantasy "Testrol es lelekrol" ("On Body and Soul") won the film festival's coveted Golden Bear for best picture.

One of 18 films competing for top honours at this year's Berlinale, Enyedi's film tells the story of a couple who discover they dream the same dream every night.

It is her fifth feature film since she won the Cannes Film Festival's Camera d'or in 1989 for best first feature film for her comedy-drama "My Twentieth Century."

The other Israeli films participating in the festival – the full-length Low Tide by Daniel Mann and short-length documentary The Boy from H2 by Helen Yanovsky – failed to win awards.