Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy kicked off the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival with his virtual address and launched a veiled attack on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as the war between both countries entered the day 83.
Opening Cannes Film Festival, Zelenskyy urged future filmmakers to celebrate the satire on fascism and not remain silent and hailed Charlie Chaplin’s satire on Adolf Hitler. Zelenskyy quoted Chaplin’s final speech in “The Great Dictator,” which was released in 1940, in the early days of World War II, and said, “The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”
He made an appeal to the world of the cinema saying, “It’s necessary for cinema not to be silent.” The Ukrainian President said, “We need a new Chaplin who will demonstrate that the cinema of our time is not silent.”
Moreover, he requested that cinema must always be “on the side of freedom”.
He made these remarks, after tributes and musical numbers, in a live satellite video address to the audience who had gathered for the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius’ zombie comedy “Final Cut.”
The Ukrainian president was dressed in his signature olive green shirt. The hall reverberated with a thunderous standing ovation as Zelenskyy spoke at length about the connection between cinema and reality.
He referenced films like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” as not unlike Ukraine’s present circumstances, reported ABC News.
Set to screen are several films from prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary “The Natural History of Destruction.” Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius before he was killed in Mariupol in April will also be shown by his fiancee, Hanna Bilobrova.
Even “Final Cut,” the latest film from “The Artist” filmmaker Hazanavicius, was renamed from its original title, “Z,” after Ukrainian protesters noted that the letter Z to some symbolizes support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, as per the media portal.
The 75th Cannes Film Festival started on Tuesday, May 17, and will go on till May 28.