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Ameche, MacLaine Win in Venice

September 10, 1988|STEVE WEINSTEIN

Italian director Ermanno Olmi's film "La Leggenda del Santo Bevitore" (The Legend of the Holy Drinker), about the miracles that befall an alcoholic drifter, won the Golden Lion award for the best film at the Venice Film Festival Friday.

Don Ameche, Joe Mantegna, Isabelle Huppert and Shirley MacLaine were honored for their acting.

The jury divided the best performance by an actor award between Ameche and Mantegna for their work in "Things Change," a David Mamet-directed comedy about a shoeshine man who agrees to go to jail for someone else.

Huppert and MacLaine shared the award for best performance by an actress.

Huppert won for her work in Claude Chabrol's "Une Affaire de Femmes" (An Affair of Women), in which she plays a woman condemned to die for performing an illegal abortion that resulted in the death of the pregnant woman.

MacLaine was honored for her portrayal of the maniacal piano master "Madame Sousatzka."

The best director award went to Theo Angelopoulos of Greece for his film "Topio Stin Omihli" (Walk in the Fog), about two young brothers who set out across Europe to find their father.

The grand prize special award was presented to the film "Camp de Thiaroye," by Sembene Ousmane and Thierno Faty Sow because, the jury said, the film, a joint production by Senegal, Algeria and Tunisia, deserved special mention for its great emotional strength and masterful cinematography.

The film is based on a 1944 massacre of African soldiers who fought for the Allies in World War II only to be bombed and killed by the French while returning home.

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