The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday night with a star-studded premiere of Arnaud Desplechin’s “Ismael’s Ghosts.” Politics, and the ever-present specter of terrorism and Donald Trump loomed large amidst the odes to the cinematic experience.
No one mentioned the U.S. president by name, but there were allusions to his policies, particularly the ones that target artists and immigrants.
Director Asghar Farhadi — who made headlines after refusing to attend the Academy Awards last spring following Trump’s temporary ban on immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries, including Iran, from entering the U.S. — suggested that Cannes, with its multiculturalism, stands in stark relief to the xenophobia taking place in other parts of the world.
“Cannes is a place where cultures speak to each other and respect each other,” said Farhadi. “It’s a place where people enthusiastically dialogue with each other about cinema and share memorable moments.”
The Iranian filmmaker said he hoped the 12 films playing in competition would shed light on the “human conditions” of people around the world.
Actress Monica Bellucci used her moment on stage to wave the flag of artistic expression.
“We are all stars in our own way,” said Bellucci. “Some stars are banned from shining and expressing themselves. Each star has to find back the freedom to speech and the light it deserves.”
On the red carpet, Susan…