Vincent Lindon, the Jury President of the 75th Edition of Cannes Film Festival has advocated that arts be used to shake up indifference in the world.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine, Lindon stated that given the “turbulent times” in the world at large, the festival’s role was more vital than ever.
The French actor made this call during the opening ceremony of the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival
“What else can we do, besides drawing on the weapon of mass emotion that is film, to awaken consciences and shake up indifference. I don’t see what!
How can the evocative power of these great filmmakers not influence the future of the earth! I cannot imagine that, either!
Even if that means we have to use a thimble to bale ourselves out of the hull of a ship being flooded by waves, our strength is that we have faith, because our works will live on forever.
Although when we are crushed under the weight of current affairs, and I find myself discouraged, I do sometimes wonder if we are not currently dancing on the Titanic…
So maybe, if we listen carefully, we might hear amidst the crashing of empires and nations the soft and low brushing of wings, and the sweet murmur of life and hope.
The time of artists and responsible filmmakers has come, to bear us up and to nourish our imaginations, to help us repeat to ourselves, at every opportunity, in honour of all those who are suffering and fighting in this world: ‘be alive and be aware of it’ he stated.
He added that while the world stayed riveted to the splendour of the Cannes, it was time to take a stand and for artists to “use our fame, however minor, to enable the words of the voiceless to be heard, or the contrary – should we refuse to publicly take a stance in fields in which we have no legitimacy or competency?
“Should we not rather, from this stage, upon which, for a brief moment, the eyes of the world are focused, decry the torments of a planet that is bleeding and in pain, a planet that is suffocating and burning as the powers that be look on indifferently? Yes, we probably should. But what can we say that hasn’t already been said? That might at least be useful?
Nations, states and their leaders owe their place in history to the ties they succeed in weaving with artists whose works are the sublimation of human genius.
The Cannes International Film Festival continues this same secular tradition. Born from a desire to fight against the fascism that had deformed European cinema, it has never stopped embracing, protecting, and bringing together the greatest filmmakers of their time.
Open to all cultures, demanding nothing more than the highest of standards, its selections comprise films that aspire to more than merely selling tickets.
That is the Festival de Cannes’ reason for being. That is its glory. It is this inflexible vision, a guiding line that is both artistic and community-led, that renders essential what would otherwise be obscene: projecting glorious images over the top of the abominable ones coming to us from the heroic and martyrised Ukraine, or burying them under a melody of joy the silent massacres that rip through Yemen or Darfur” he added.
Recall that the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival opened with an emotional ceremony.
It featured a surprise guest appearance from Volodymyr Zelensky, who joined the ceremony by videoconference.
The Ukrainian president who was also a former actor and film producer spoke live from Kyiv and invited the personalities in cinema to get involved against the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
“We need a new Chaplin who will prove that cinema is not dumb,” said the head of state, also a former actor and film producer.