Originally posted on Variety:
The seventh edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has announced winners of its Black Pearl Awards, with Chinese helmer Jia Zhangke’s “A Touch of Sin” scoring the top nod for best narrative feature.
“Touch of Sin,” which is based on true stories, mixes Jia’s signature docu-fiction style with Tarantino-esque moments and provides a hard-hitting vision of contempo China slowly consumed by violence. “Sin” won the $100,000 that goes with the top Adu Dhabi honors. Pic had been well received at Cannes, where it scored the screenplay prize.
Iraqi-Dutch director Mohamed Jabarah Al-daradji’s drama “In the Sands of Babylon,” about the brutality of Saddam Hussein’s genocide, won the prize for best narrative film from the Arab world, worth $50,000. The Special Jury Award, also worth $50,000, went to Kurdish director Hiner Saleem’s surreal Kurdistan-set Western “My Sweet Pepper Land.”