THE White Ribbon, a black and white parable about the rise of fascism in pre-war Germany from director Michael Haneke, has won the Palme dOr at the Cannes Film Festival. Charlotte Gainsbourg took home the best actress prize for her x-rated performance as a woman driven mad by grief in Lars Von Triers Antichrist, which provoked howls of outrage from the usually unshockable Cannes critics with its graphic scenes of violence. The best actor prize went to Christoph Waltz for his scene-stealing turn in Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantinos Second World War drama. His role as SS Colonel Hans Landa, a Nazi who glorifies in his reputation as The Jew Hunter, is already being tipped for an Oscar nomination. Waltz is a soap star in his native Austria. Britain had high hopes for success at this years festival, where Ken Loach was in competition and Jane Campions biopic of the poet John Keats was strongly fancied. But the only British success story was Andrea Arnolds Fish Tank, joint winner of the Jury Prize with Korean director Park Chan-Wooks Thirst. Fish Tank was notable because its star, 17-year-old Katie Jarvis, was a novice actress discovered on a station platform. The winners were announced in Cannes by Isabelle Huppert, the French actress who chaired this years jury. She won the best actress prize in 2001 for another Haneke film, The Pianist. Today is a moment in my life when I can say I am very happy, said Haneke as he accepted the Palme dOr. The director, whose previous credits include CachT and Code Unknown, was born in Munich but later took Austrian citizenship. In The White Ribbon he returns to the country of his birth. The film is set in a German village on the eve of the First World War, where a series of unsettling incidents gradually expose the malice and distrust at the heart of German society. Success for a film by a celebrated auteur and with no internationally known names amongst its cast was a fitting end for this years festival, which had a notable lack of Hollywood star power. The only Hollywood movie to be included among the 20 Palme dOr contenders was Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt, which was poorly received by critics. Filipino film-maker Brillante Mendoza won the directing award for Kinatay, while Chinese director Lou Ye won the screenplay award for Spring Fever. The story of a forbidden relationship was shot in secret because Ye has been banned by the Chinese authorities. Telegraph