The Cannes Film Festival gives the floor to Zelensky at its opening gala – Diario de Querétaro

The 75th Cannes Film Festival opened on Tuesday giving the floor to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski, who called for the commitment of the world of cinema against “the dictators.”

“We need a new (Charlie) Chaplin to show that cinema is not silent,” Zelensky told an audience of movie stars.

The Cannes Film Festival was born just a year after World War II, and “as at that time, today a battle for freedom is being waged,” said Zelensky, dressed in a military shirt.

“The hatred will end up disappearing, the dictators will die,” promised the president and ex-actor, who embodies the resistance of his country and who regularly appears in great galas of the entertainment world.

“The Dictator,” Chaplin’s 1940 film that mocked Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler, “didn’t destroy the real dictator. But thanks to the cinema, thanks to that film, the cinema ceased to be silent,” Zelensky explained.

“Will the cinema remain silent or will it raise its voice? Can the cinema stay out of this?” Asked the Ukrainian leader, who at the beginning of April already intervened remotely at the 64th edition of the Grammys.

“Glory to Ukraine,” Zelensky then said to close his speech, drawing applause from the audience, who rose to their feet.

Zelensky’s speech gave a definitively political tone to a festival that had already announced that Ukraine would occupy a special place this year, with several filmmakers from that country and even films shot during the current conflict, such as “Mariupolis 2”, a posthumous work by Lithuanian Mantas Kvedaravicius, who was killed by Russian gunfire last month in Ukraine.

Zelenski’s intervention was necessary “because there are realities that crush everything,” warned the presenter of the gala, the Belgian actress Virginie Efira.

– Tom Cruise at the controls of “Top Gun” –

Although Cannes opens with a desire for fun, the atmosphere will have to be “dignified, respectful (…) even if it is only as a tribute to those who live much more complicated days than us”, the president of the jury, the French actor Vincent Lindon, before the press shortly before the traditional red carpet parade.

Lindon, a left-wing actor, also made an energetic speech before Zelensky, even invoking the danger of “fascism”, before which he called for the commitment of the seventh art.

Cannes returns in 2022 without health restrictions and with thousands of guests, ready to combine glamor with claims.

This Tuesday, the Afro-American actor and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker received an honorary Palme d’Or at the age of 60.

A total of 21 films compete for the highest award, reflecting a balance between commercial cinema and auteur cinema.

On Wednesday the contest will give way to Hollywood, with the participation of the American Tom Cruise with a new installment of “Top Gun”, an emblematic film of the 1980s.

Other expected moments are the film “Elvis” by director Baz Luhrmann about the king of rock’n’roll, and David Cronenberg with “Crimes of the future”, for lovers of bloody cinema.

The Russian Kirill Serebrennikov, critical of his government, the French Claire Denis, the veteran Belgian brothers Dardenne, or the Spanish Albert Serra, the only representative of Ibero-American cinema, compete for the Palme d’Or.

Other authors are the South Korean Park Chan-Wook, the Japanese Hirokazu Kore-eda and the American James Gray.

American actor Tom Hanks plays Elvis Presley’s manager, Viggo Mortensen plays an artist who lets his guts open in the company of Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart and British actor Anthony Hopkins plays a tycoon in New York in the 1970s.

The Spanish actor Javier Bardem will also be present, who will participate in a meeting with the public.

On the Ibero-American side, there will be, above all, the presence of young filmmakers, such as the Spanish Elena López Riera (“El agua”), the Colombians Andrés Ramírez Pulido (“La jauría”) and Fabián Hernández (“A man”), and the Chilean Manuela Martelli (“1976”).

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