French film premiered at Cannes co-produced by Russian citizen, says Ukrainian film critic

18 May, 03:45 PM
A frame from the film Jeanne du Barry (Photo:Stephanie Branchu/Why Not Productions)

A frame from the film Jeanne du Barry (Photo:Stephanie Branchu/Why Not Productions)

The recently released film Jeanne du Barry, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, was co-produced by Russian citizen Konstantin Elkin and will be released in Russia, like many other French films, Ukrainian journalist and film critic Daria Badior wrote on Facebook on May 17.

“Yesterday, the Festival de Cannes opened with Jeanne du Barry by Maïwenn, with her and Johnny Depp co-starring,” she said.

“The reviews are, let’s say, mixed. But the most interesting part lies, as always, in the funding question. One of the co-producers of the film is Konstantin Elkin, a Russian producer who continues to work in Russia, making films, and playing them in cinemas — meaning paying taxes and funding the war against Ukraine.”

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Badior added that Jeanne du Barry would also be released in Russia, as many French films were, after Feb. 24, 2022, i.e. the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It will also fund rockets and weapons that are used against Ukrainians,” she said.

The journalist also pointed out that the opening film for Cinéma de la plage this year in Cannes is Underground by Emir Kusturica, a direct endorser of Russian war against Ukraine and a friend of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

“Underground was released in 1995, received the Palme d’Or, while Kusturica was pro-Serbian and, as far as I understand, took money from the state TV to fund the film,” she said.

Badior noted that “Cannes Film Festival banned all protests during the festival, which is also interesting regarding the [Writer’s Guild of America] protests in the United States and mass protests in France against pension reform.”

In addition, according to the film critic, there is also one Russian film on the program — Quinzaine des Cinéastes: Grace by Ilya Povolotsky.

“On the latest press conference before the festival started, according to Variety, (Cannes Film Festival director) Thierry Fremaux said that ‘the festival will have a political edge, in line with its DNA,’” Badior said.

“I think this is the edge they are taking after all, ha?”

The program of this year’s Cannes Film Festival does not include any Ukrainian films. However, two joint Ukrainian-Polish films will be screened at the festival.

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