The Cannes Film Festival has just opened in France. Films about Russia and Ukraine are shown in an attempt to send an anti-war message.
Red carpets were rolled out in the French resort town on Tuesday, marking the start of the glamorous event. The festival runs until May 28.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed a video message to participants during the opening ceremony. He referenced Charlie Chaplin and his film “The Great Dictator”, which satirized Adolf Hitler. Zelenskyy said: “We need a new Chaplin.”
He also said, “We must finally win this battle. And we need cinematography that will provide such a finale. For every voice to be on the side of freedom.”
In an extraordinary step, organizers barred Russians with ties to the Russian government from participating. This comes amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Tchaikovsky’s Wife” by Kirill Serebrennikov is one of the films nominated for the Palme d’Or. The Russian director is a critic of President Vladimir Putin and is known for producing satires on Russian society.
A documentary filmed in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol will also be screened. “Mariupolis 2” features footage shot by Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius before he was killed by Russian troops in the city last month.
Japanese films will also be previewed. Director Koreeda Hirokazu is back with “Broker”, his latest opus. The film was shot in South Korea.
Koreeda is aiming for a new Palme d’Or. He won the award in 2018 for “Shoplifters”.
“Plan 75” by director Hayakawa Chie is up for an award in the “Un Certain Regard” category. The film deals with the subject of euthanasia in a super-aged society.