A Night of Knowing Nothing is the winner of this year’s l’Œil d’Or. The Cannes Film Festival’s documentary prize, administered by the French union La Scam, went to Payal Kapadia’s feature debut about two students in India who bridge the distance of their relationship by writing letters. A Night of Knowing Nothing premiered at the festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar. The film offers a portrait of student life conceived through footage that Kapadia shot of her friends at school between 2017 and 2019. As a first feature, Kapadia’s doc is also eligible for Cannes’ Golden Camera at the awards ceremony later today.
Sergei Loznitsa’s Babi Yar: Context received a special mention from the l’Œil d’Or jury. The film is a provocative examination of a brutal massacre during the Holocaust and the larger genocide of which it was a part. “Loznitsa and his crew are to be commended for crafting a film that’s not only historical resonant but in many ways aesthetically moving,” wrote Jason Gorber reviewing the film for POV. “A remarkable achievement in non-fiction storytelling, Babi Yar: Context may feel like one story among many from this period, yet thanks to its technical acuity and determination to provide a more thorough look, it revitalizes a way forward for films of this subject.”
This year’s jury was headed by O.J. Made in America director Ezra Edelman.
L'OEIL D'OR 2021 : "A night of knowing nothing" de Payal Kapadia. Une étudiante indienne écrit des lettres à son amoureux absent. A travers cette correspondance se révèlent les changements radicaux qui s’opèrent autour d’elle. @Quinzaine @Festival_Cannes pic.twitter.com/AwitbsGANf
— La Scam (@webscam) July 17, 2021