At Cannes Film Festival, too, Ukraine battles on

More than two years into Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s strong presence at the Cannes Film Festival bears witness to its stubborn defence and the resilience of its film industry. The war’s pervasive impact on civilian life is the subject of “The Invasion”, whose director Sergei Loznitsa spoke to FRANCE 24 in Cannes.

For the third year running, the world’s leading film festival is unfolding in the shadow of a devastating war raging in eastern Europe – a conflict that is still on the minds of many here in Cannes.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky famously opened the festival two years ago with a video-link address urging filmmakers to challenge Russia like the way Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” took on Adolf Hitler. Films by and about Ukrainians featured prominently that year, including “Mariupolis 2” by Lithuania’s Mantas Kvedaravicius, who paid with his own life for his efforts to document the city’s destruction at the hands of Russian forces.

Against all odds, Ukraine’s film industry is still producing movies, some made by filmmakers who are now also soldiers. Their work is showcased at the Ukrainian pavilion in Cannes, part of to the world’s largest film market.

“We lost a lot of colleagues to the war but we have many talented filmmakers who are keeping up the work,” said producer Kateryna Tetriakova. “And we’re getting great support here at the market.”


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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