CANNES - A tense courtroom drama about a writer accused of her husband's murder took the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, capping a strong year for women filmmakers.
French director Justine Triet became only the third woman ever to win the festival's top prize with the icy tale "Anatomy of a Fall", led by a riveting performance from German actress Sandra Hueller.
Triet used her acceptance speech to slam the government of President Emmanuel Macron for the "shocking" way it imposed a law increasing the retirement age in France.
But she said she was "deeply touched."
"I am very pleased to be the third woman who has gotten this prize -- things are truly changing and for the best," she told reporters.
There were a record seven women among the 21 entries competing at Cannes this year, and many featured complex female characters.
"Anatomy of a Fall" included a standout performance by "Messi" -- the border collie who plays a pivotal role in the film, and won the Palm Dog award a day earlier.
Though Hueller did not win an award -- Cannes traditionally only gives one prize per film -- she was arguably the big winner on the night since she also starred in "The Zone of Interest" by Britain's Jonathan Glazer, which took the runner-up Grand Prix.
The harrowing and unique look at the private life of a Nazi family at the Auschwitz concentration camp never shows the horrors of the camp directly, leaving them implied by disturbing background noises and small visual details.
Hueller chillingly portrays the wife of the Nazi commandant, happily tending her garden and boasting she is "the queen of Auschwitz".