Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an amazing video speech at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday.
“Hundreds of people are dying every day. After clapping at the end, they won’t wake up again,” he told viewers, who reacted in surprise after the pre-recorded message was launched.
“Will cinema be silent, or will it talk? If there is a dictator, if there is a war for independence, then everything depends on our unity. Can cinema be outside this unity?” Jelensky added.
Zelensky noted the power of cinema during World War II, including Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 film The Great Dictator, which ridiculed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“Chaplin’s dictatorship did not destroy the real dictator, but thanks to the movie, thanks to this movie, the movie didn’t stay calm,” Zelensky said.
“We need a new chaplain to prove that the movie is not silent. Will the movie be silent, or will it talk? Can the movie be out of it?”
His speech received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Palais des Festival in the southern French resort.
Fighting for the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival is an influential theme, with a special day dedicated to Ukrainian filmmakers in the art market.
“Mariupolis 2”, a documentary about the conflict between Lithuanian director Mantas Kevdaravicius, who was reportedly killed by Russian forces in Ukraine last month, will receive a special screening.
Zelensky, similarly speaking at the Grammy Awards in Las Vegas last month, told the crowd: “Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing for the injured in the hospital.”
The inaugural ceremony in Cannes introduced the jury and awarded the honorary Palme d’Or to actor and peace activist Forrest Whitaker.
Vincent Lyndon, the French actor and president of the jury, said in his speech:
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