KANS, France – The last two times Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrenikov was filming at the Cannes Film Festival, he was unable to attend. He was under a travel ban in Russia as part of his conviction for cheating in Russia over widespread protests against the unreasonable persecution of art. Last year, Serebrennikov, one of the most famous directors of Russian film and theater, attended a Cannes press conference on FaceTime.
But after the ban was lifted and he fled Russia in March, Serebrenikov was in the ear Wednesday for the premiere of his latest film, “Tikovsky’s Wife,” which is competing for Pam D’Or. It is a period film that challenges state propaganda, trying to hide that the famous Russian composer was gay. In 2013, Russia enacted a law banning “homosexual propaganda”.
“Tchaikovsky’s Wife”, a fierce political film made by dissidents, one of Russia’s most prominent filmmakers, has reached the ears as the rage of the Russian war in Ukraine and Europe has rebuilt its cultural boundaries.
“I take filmmaking and theater-building and culture-building as a big, comprehensive statement against the war,” Serebrenikov said in an interview Wednesday on the porch of the Palais des Festival before the premiere of his film. “War is killing people. It’s about destroying everything. It’s not about people, it’s about taking people like people. They easily throw them into the fog of war and ignore anyone, any fragility of every individual.
“Industry is always at war,” he added.
His film premiered on the second day of the festival, which began with a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a rally that mentioned films such as Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” and urged filmmakers to remain silent. Did. “
Cerebrennikov’s presence in the ear has been alleged. Some in Ukraine have called for a boycott of all Russians at festivals and other major artistic gatherings. The organizers of the Cannes have chosen to ban the Russians in a relationship with the government but not the filmmakers.
Still, Serebrennikov is one of the only Russian filmmakers to hear this year – a role he doesn’t like.
“If you ask me if a war with Ukraine is possible on February 23, I would say, ‘No, never. It’s not possible. ‘ But it has. My motherland has destroyed another country, “said Serebrenikov. “It’s very painful, it’s very sad. This is a disaster for all people, for Europe, for both sides. Not only for the Ukrainian people, but also for Russia. Many cannot say anything. And sometimes, powerlessness and speechlessness are much more painful. Now, Ukraine is a country that is fighting the enemy. “
“Tchaikovsky’s wife” is played by Alona Mikhailova, Antonina Milyukova, and Odin Byron, an American actor who has appeared on Russian television, played by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. It was funded by the partially approved Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Cannes artistic director Thierry Framax said the festival was wrestling over whether to include the film in the competition, with the decision being made in the end because it fights against the Russian state narrative and was shot before the war and subsequent sanctions.
To Cerebrennikov, his film – which does not attempt to cover Tchaikovsky’s sexuality – is about the “fragility of the human soul.” It is made from the perspective of Miliukova, who, despite being completely disinterested in him, is strongly devoted to the composer. He spent most of the filming time in his own kind of exile from Tchaikovsky.
Serebrennikov likened Tchaikovsky’s ideal Russian view to that of a monument or statue.
“I just wanted to say that something important to the nation can be a life, not a propaganda, but an (explosive) monument but something real,” said Serebrennikov. “Some people are really afraid of reality. That’s why they like to pray for their idols and their monuments are made of iron instead of love. “
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