About 2,000 kilometers separate the marina full of luxury yachts moored in the old port of Cannes, a French city spread out over a blue expanse of the Mediterranean, and the today incendiary Ukraine.
The distance, about the same between the cities of São Paulo and Ilhéus, south of Bahia, is not so short as the Putin Bombs to impede the lazy comings and goings of the wealthy walking down the beach in bathing suits and girls crossing the sidewalk with their long dresses on covered hangers.
But it is not so long either that the conflict casts its shadow over the most important film festival on the planet and one of Europe’s most important cultural events — a continent that finds itself in a powder keg like never before since the Second World War.
The years pass, but the story turns in circles. It should be remembered that the seed of a film festival held in Cannes began precisely at the end of the 1930s as a great demonstration of the “soft power” of the European powers against the Nazi-fascist dictatorships, then in power in Germany and in Italy. and who had counterpart in Venice showcase of its cultural power.
The outbreak of war eventually undermined what would be the first edition of the Allied response to the Italian holiday, so the French event could not begin until 1946, with the conflict over and in some sort of effort to s unite in a world rising from the wreckage.
Now, with the kick-off of its 75th edition this Tuesday, the sound of bombs and the echoes of the last European fratricide will come from the world premiere of “Mariupolis 2”, the last film made by the Lithuanian Mantas Kvedaraviciusdocumentary filmmaker and anthropologist who was killed in April this year, during the Russian siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, one of the main scenes of the theater of war.
Kvedaravicius, who was documenting the attack, was captured by “Russian fascists” and shot, according to his widow Ludmila Denisova. Then, according to her, she had her body dumped in the street. He was in the port city to document the resistance of the same people he had already played between 2014 and 2015, during the time of the previous troubles between Russia and Ukraine, in the film “Mariupolis”.
Included in Cannes’ last-minute programming, probably edited in a hurry, his presence is a clear message from the organization of the festival, a faithful cut of Western Europe’s cultural “intelligentsia”. The inclusion of a film like “Tchaikovsky’s Wife”, directed by a notorious disgruntled Putin, the Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, who was arrested in more than nebulous circumstances for alleged tax crimes.
So that there is no doubt about the kind of message that the festival, and the directors who compete in it, want to convey, it is curious that the case of the film “Cut!”, the latest work by Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius, from “The Artist”, chosen to open the event. Previously, the film’s title was “Z”, a reference to it being a zombie comedy. But “Z” is also the letter that Russian tanks and supporters of the Ukrainian invasion sported – it’s a symbol of support for Putin.
Hazanavicius shows that he did not hesitate too much to change the name of his feature film.
“Maybe that title was fun when we finished the movie, but now it’s not, and I can’t keep it,” the filmmaker told This War.