Just like it has done for the past 66 years, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival came to a close Sunday — but this year, something was different.
The winner of the Palme d'Or — the festival's top prize — went to a racy, controversial French love story described by some as a “graphic lesbian drama.”
Abdellatif Kechiche's film "La Vie d'Adele," or "Blue is the Warmest Colour," was honored just as anti gay-marriage protestors in Paris clashed with French police following the passing of France's new same-sex marriage law.
“After long weeks punctuated by outbursts of homophobic gay marriage debates, 'Blue is the Warmest Color' looks directly at its two young heroines not as an anomaly or a curiosity but as a passion taking seed in eternal love,” wrote France's La Liberation newspaper.
Cannes jury president Steven Spielberg insisted politics played no role in "Blue is the Warmest Color" beating out 19 other films for the festival's top honor.
“Politics was not in the room with us,” Spielberg said. “We just all felt (this) was a profound love story. We didn't think about how it was going to play, we just were really happy that someone had the courage to tell this story the way he did."
Scottish director Lynne Ramsay, Spielberg's fellow Cannes jury member, echoed his sentiments, saying the film won because "It was a love affair that everyone can identify with. And that is what makes it very special that everyone recognized their own relationships, whether they were straight or gay."
Watch a clip from the award-winning French film below: