Canes 2018 Wrap Up - #TimesUp, #MeToo, and the Digital Impact
And its a wrap on Cannes 2018 with buzz noticeably low! The croisette was half the usual size and high on the small talk agenda was whether or not, this was as a result of the Netflix conflict or the change in dates.
Some things remained unchanged - transport strikes, well dressed cinephiles on the croisette holding up signs pleading for invites, the American pavilion maintained its status quo as the only pavilion you need to pay to enter whilst the Brits handed out complimentary tea.
One new introduction was a card with a hotline number for sexual harassment in the official festival bag. And when Asia Argento addressed the crowd at the closing ceremony with the words, “In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. This festival was his hunting ground,” it was clearer why.
Nods to #MeToo and #TimesUp had started a few days earlier with 82 film industry professionals, on the steps of the Palais des Festivals to represent, what they describe as pervasive gender inequality in the film industry. Notably, 16 black French actresses chose the 16th of May, to walk from the Majestic Hotel to the Palais to mark the launch of the book Black Is Not My Profession, curated by Aissa Maiga, bringing intersectionality into the conversation.
Banned in Kenya, Rafiki received a standing ovation for its bravery in telling a love story that would be labelled LGBTQ if it ever gets a release, Spike Lee’s BlackKlansman was deemed to be highly politically relevant and under the radar but uber brilliant Nadine Labaki won the word of mouth award for Capernaum which won the grand jury prize.
Like every other screening of movies, the reception to the films varied between good, bad and ugly but there was one general consensus.
Prestigious as Cannes may be, the sad reality is that a lot of the movies fetted over the ten day period by the cinephile community but will probably never make their way to the masses, except Netflix picks them up of course. The irony.