Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov won the Golden Lion award at the Venice film festival on Saturday for “Faust,” a visceral take on Goethe’s play which explores the theme of corrupting power.

“There are films which make you dream, which make you cry, laugh and think, and there are films which change your life forever. This is one of those films,” said jury head Darren Aronofki, saying the decision had been unanimous.

Beating 22 other films to the prize, the stomach-turning movie is the final instalment of Sokurov’s cinematic tetralogy on the nature of power, following his acclaimed portraits of Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin and Emperor Hirohito.

Sokurov is the second Russian director ever to win the Golden Lion, after it was awarded to Andrei Zviaguintsev for “The Return” in 2003.

“Making auteur cinema is very difficult these days,” the St Petersburg-based director said, adding that he was “very happy to live in a Europe where we can understand each other.”

Following is a list of the prizes awarded at the 68th Venice film festival on Saturday:

– Golden Lion for best film:
“Faust” by Aleksander Sokurov (Russia)

– Silver Lion for best director:
Cai Shangjun for “People Mountain, People Sea” (China-Hong Kong)

– Special jury prize:
“Terraferma” by Emanuele Crialese (Italy-France)

– Coppa Volpi for best actor:
Michael Fassbender in “Shame” by Steve McQueen (Britain)

– Coppa Volpi for best actress:
Deanie Yip in “A Simple Life” by Ann Hui (China-Hong Kong)

– Osella prize for best cinematography:
Robbie Ryan for “Wuthering Heights” by Andrea Arnold (Britain)

– Osella prize for best screenplay:
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for “Alps” by Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)

– Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actor or actress:
Shota Somentani and Fumi Nikaido in Sion sono’s “Himizu” (Japan)