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Zelensky was an unexpected guest at Cannes and asked for 'a new Chaplin to prove that cinema is not silent' - Observer

Zelensky was an unexpected guest at Cannes and asked for ‘a new Chaplin to prove that cinema is not silent’ – Observer

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday defended the necessity “A new Chaplin to prove that cinema is not silent” Facing the War in Ukraine, in a Message from Kyiv was broadcast at the opening of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

“We will continue to fight, we have no other choice (…) I am convinced that the “dictator” will lose, ”said Zelensky before the cream of world cinema, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the film“ The Great Dictator ”by Charlie Chaplin, which he mentioned several times.

His appearance on video at the opening session of the event caused a surprise in the hall and a welcome from the audience, after which the Ukrainian president denounced the horrors of the Russian war in Ukraine and pleaded with the world of cinema not to get caught up in them. Silence.

“Will the cinemas be closed or are you talking about it (the war)?” , Asked.

We need a new Chaplin to prove to us today that cinema is not silent. (…) Hate will eventually disappear, dictators will die,” he added in a serious tone.

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In early April, Zelensky is already entering the 64th Grammy Awards in North America, asking for help for his country.

The Cannes Film Festival, which began its 75th session this Tuesday, promised that Ukraine would be “on everyone’s mind” by announcing, during the month of April, the program for which several films from the country had been selected.

Two generations of Ukrainian filmmakers will be represented, with “The Habit” Sergey Loznitsa, who presents “Tha Natural History of Destruction” (“Natural History of Destruction”, in free translation), about the Allied destruction of German cities during World War II, World War II, and with the young Maxim Nakonichny, with “Bachennya Metelyka” (“Visions of Butterflies”), which will appear out of competition, in the parallel program “Un Certain Regard”.

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Added event last minute display ofand “Mariopolis 2”It is the last film of Lithuanian director Mantas Kvidaravicius, who died in early April in Ukraine.

In contrast, the an appointment The world of cinema refused to receive “official Russian representatives, state institutions or journalists who represent the official line of Russia”, but declared that it was always ready to welcome opposing voices, starting with Kirill Serebnikov. Russian cinema “Terrible Child” opens the competition on Wednesday with his new film “La Femme de Tchaïkovsky” (“Tchaikovsky’s Wife”), which is nominated for the Palme d’Or.

This Tuesday afternoon, at the beginning of the opening ceremony presented by the actress Virginie Evira, I raised the question of cinema’s political engagement: “Can cinema change the world? I’m not sure. But it can change our perception of it. As a result, the world has really changed (…) Free filmmakers – that’s what Cannes celebrates.”

The war in Ukraine, which this Tuesday entered its 83rd day, has caused more than 14 million people to flee their homes – some eight million internally displaced and more than 6.2 million to neighboring countries – according to the latest UN data, which ranks this refugee crisis as the worst. In Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

Also according to the United Nations, there are about 15 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.

The Russian invasion – which Putin justified by the necessity of “disarming” and demilitarizing Ukraine for the sake of Russia’s security – was condemned by the entire international community, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia reaching practically all sectors, from banking to sports.

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On Tuesday, the United Nations confirmed the killing of 3,752 civilians and the injury of 4,062 others, stressing that the real numbers may be much higher and will only be known when there is access to the besieged cities or areas that have so far been subject to fierce fighting.