Free Press Journal

Cannes 2018: Scandal, protesting stars and bans, the film festival is marred

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After years of spotless red carpets, Cannes Film Festival 2018 opens with a rather political affair on Tuesday. From female stars protesting at the red carpet to top directors banned from attending, this year Cannes is a scandalous event.

With the #MeToo campaign where Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault of several women still a hot matter and Cannes under fire for death of its women directors, Cate Blanchett and Kristen Stewart are likely to join actresses and women directors in a protest in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

Amidst the less starry line-up at the festival, the new “Star Wars” spin-off, “Solo” is the only Hollywood blockbuster. The festival this year has its pockets full with no less than a dozen films with LGBT themes, and others tackling child abuse, male prostitution and an eye-watering DIY sex change.


The line up also includes a new documentary about the tragic singer Whitney Houston by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald reportedly includes a devastating revelation about the demons that dogged her short life.

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler — whose film is breaking box office records — is also likely to tackle the lack of black faces in Hollywood in a Cannes masterclass.

“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” shown, the first Kenyan movie to be selected for the world’s top festival has already been banned in its homeland for daring to depict a lesbian romance.

Despite a plea by US director Oliver Stone, Tehran has refused to lift a travel ban on Iranian master Jafar Panahi, whose “Three Faces” is in the running for the top Palme d’Or prize.

The dissident director made it clandestinely after being banned from making films for 20 years for his activism after the “stolen election” of 2009. Appeals to bail Russia’s Kirill Serebrennikov, under house arrest in Moscow on embezzlement charges, his supporters claim are political, have also fallen on deaf ears.

Long before Weinstein had been accused of attacking four women at the festival, Cannes had been under fire for a “problem with women”.

As we know that women have been stopped on the Cannes red carpet in previous years for not wearing high heels, and its dress code has been condemned as sexist.

But the Weinstein scandal has given its critics further ammunition, with screenwriter Kate Muir of Women and Hollywood lacerating the festival as “a two-week celebration of male brains and female beauty”.

There are only 3 out of 21 directors in the running for the top prize who are women.

With the obvious barriers in place, Cannes 2018 is the highly messed up scandal of the year, as reported by The New Indian Express.