Cannes closing ceremony shaken up by #MeToo
CANNES, FRANCE—Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival for his superb Shoplifters, about a family of thieves and throwaways living on the margins in Japan.
Kore-eda accepted the award, the festival’s highest honour, at the end of a sober event that was shaken up 30 minutes in when Italian director Asia Argento delivered a shattering rebuke to the festival and the movie industry from the stage.
“In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground,” Argento said.
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The fierce, unwavering Argento added that there were those in the auditorium who needed to be held accountable for their conduct toward women.
“You know who you are,” she said, “but, most importantly, we know who you are, and we are not going to allow you to get away with it any longer.”
The stunned audience responded with subdued applause. It was a powerful moment that came a week after 82 women — representing the small number of films by female directors that have competed in the festival over the years — rallied on the red carpet to denounce gender inequality in the industry.
Spike Lee won the Grand Prix, the festival’s second prize, for BlacKkKlansman, a galvanizing drama based on the strange, true-life story of a Black detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s and is also an indictment of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Jury Prize — the third prize — was given to Capharnaüm, a story about a neglected 12-year-old boy, from Lebanese director Nadine Labaki. Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski won best director for Cold War, which follows two lovers from the end of the Second World War into the 1960s across countries and shifting political realities.
The screenplay award was shared by Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro and Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s 3 Faces. Both Panahi and Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov had been banned from attending by their countries.
Samal Yeslyamova won best actress for her title performance in Sergey Dvortsevoy’s tough, sometimes harrowing nail-biter Ayka. The best actor prize was given to Marcello Fonte, who starred in Matteo Garrone’s Dogman.