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Cannes, ‘Z (Comme Z)’ title controversy: ‘He’s with War’

The Ukrainian Institute sent an official letter to Cannes Film Festival And the French director Michael Hazanavicius He asks to change the title of his movie which will open the review: Z (Comme Z)This nickname, according to the organization, is a symbol of the war and the Russian conquest of Ukraine.

In Russia, the letter “Z” first appeared on army vehicles that were invading Ukraine, and then was increasingly used as a pro-war symbol. The letter was also used in pro-Moscow demonstrations throughout Europe. It was also adopted by some Russian personalities who participated in world events, such as the gymnast Ivan Kulyak Who, while in Qatar for the World Cup, wore a “Z” on his chest while standing on the podium next to the Ukrainian athlete. Ilya Kovtun. Last week, the Lithuanian parliament banned the public display of “Z” in protest of the ongoing war.

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“We believe that changing the title of the opening film of the Cannes Film Festival will be a gesture against the barbarism, violence and terror of the Russian army,” reads the signed letter. Volodymyr ChicoDirector General of the Ukrainian Institute and published diverse.

Hazanavicius’ comedy is called the zombie Z (Comme Z) in France, but her international title is final cut. The movie was originally supposed to be shown in Sundance In January, before the Utah Festival’s last-minute decision to take action online. In Cannes, the film is currently on the official selection as Z (Comme Z)but the director says the festival will only refer to the title as final cut. There are no comments from the organizers of the Festival de Cannes.

Natalie MovchovichThe head of the cinematography department of the Ukrainian Institute confirmed that the domestic media in Russia have already used (the title of the film so), and published articles that can be summarized as follows: ‘See? They support us. ask (manager was so) Thierry Fremaux And to Michael Hazanavicius for changing the address in the name of all the victims of the Kyiv, Mariupol and Kharkiv region.

I called my movie Z (Comme Z) In France because it’s a zombie comedy and it’s inspired by what we call in France a ‘Z series’ or a B-series movie in America – Hazanavicius explained – knowing that this title has caused anguish to the Ukrainian people makes me feel helpless and very sad, because that’s the last thing I wanted to do with it “.

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“I have devoted several years of my life to producing a movie called search Regarding the 1999 war between Chechnya and Russia, which showed the barbaric way in which the Russian army dealt with the Chechen people – said Hazanavicius – I think I am the only French director who has made a film on this. ”

However, Hazanavicius said it was “too late” to change the French title just two weeks after it was released in theaters. “The address is on all the marketing materials and also in the credits – he emphasized – but we made sure that the international address, final cut, during the Cannes Film Festival and in all materials to be shown. I would change it everywhere if I could do that. My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people who have suffered enough and the last thing I want to do is cause more pain or more discomfort.”

The message of the Ukrainian Institute also addresses the decision to screen the latest films of the Russian director Kirill Serebnikov Tchaikovsky’s wife in the main competition. The film was supported by the Film Fund of Roman AbramovichAnd quinoprim$100 million.

Serebrennikov, director Petrov flu And LetIn June 2020, he was sentenced to a suspended three-year prison term as well as a fine on trumped-up charges of embezzlement. A Moscow court last month overturned his suspended sentence, and the director was recently allowed to leave Russia.

“There were all these sanctions and now Cannes is showing a movie made by the oligarchy,” the Ukrainian producer said. Denis IvanovUkrainian director, collaborator Oleg Sentsov. In March, Ivanov published an open letter calling for a boycott of Moscow cinema, in which he said, “It is not the time for the red carpets of our dear Russian colleagues.”

Ivanov claims that he “has nothing against Kirill Serebrenkov as an artist,” but he confirmed his friendship with the former deputy head of the presidential administration. Vladislav Surkov. The Ukrainian Institute describes Surkov as “the architect of the Russian propaganda machine, directly responsible for the barbarian invasion that is taking place in Ukraine now”.

According to Natalie Movchovich of the institute, Ukrainian directors have “mixed feelings” about the Cannes Film Festival, but most of them, including Ivanov, will attend. Drama for the first time from Maxime NakotechniAnd see butterfly It will be shown in a specific field, and the film market has recently presented a focus on Ukraine.

“My personal belief is that we should be there,” Movsowicz said. He concluded: “Cannes has announced that it will not welcome anyone associated with the Russian government, but my feeling is that it focuses on form and not content. All we ask is that these films be postponed until Russia wants it.” He leaves our country and will finally take responsibility for everything he did and for all the war crimes he committed.”

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