Cannes 2024, who wins the Palme d’Or? Rasoulof reopens the games

Cannes 2024, who wins the Palme d’Or? Rasoulof reopens the games
Cannes 2024, who wins the Palme d’Or? Rasoulof reopens the games

The last day Mohammad Rasoulof the games for the Palme d’Or reopen. And while Italy wins the director’s prize at Un Certain Regard with «The Damned» by Roberto Minerviniex aequo with «On Becoming a Guinea Fowl» by Rungano Nyoniwith the powerful «The Seed of the Sacred Fig», the dissident Iranian director places a serious threat on the verdict that will be assigned this evening by the jury led by Greta Gerwig (among the members Pierfrancesco Favino) and signs up in the club of possible winners with Coppola (Megalopolis”), Audiard («Emilia Perez»), Fargeat («The Substance»), our Sorrentino («Parthenope»), Serebrennikov («Limonov») and the outsider Baker of « Anora.”

Rasoulof, sentenced to several years in prison by the ayatollah regime and daringly escaped from Iran on the eve of his arrest, did not hide his emotion: «When I was crossing the border» he said, «I turned around, I gave a last look at my homeland and I thought: “I’ll go back”. In the film, shot clandestinely during the protests for the death of Masha Amini, the girl beaten bloody because she wore her veil badly, the denunciation of the violence documented by videos shot with cell phones becomes even more effective because it is filtered through the gaze of a bourgeois family . At the center of the story is a zealous judge of the revolutionary court of Tehran, next to him his wife who cares for him and his two daughters who use social media extensively and share the reasons for the street protest. The man, a probable target, is given a weapon. But when the gun disappears into thin air, everything changes and the climate of paranoid suspicion can only lead to drama.

«My last arrest, in 2022, coincided with the “Woman, life, freedom” revolt» said the director. “My cellmates and I were amazed by the scale of the protests and the courage of the women. When I left prison I could only wonder how I could tell it in a film.” Putting together an agile crew ready to take the risk was not easy, explained Rasoulof, “the fear of being identified and arrested cast a shadow over everything, but the solutions are there”. Naturally, it wasn’t painless, he added, so much so that the actress Soheila Golestani, who plays her mother, was also arrested. «The regime can only remain in power thanks to the violence it exerts on the people, international human rights organizations should not remain silent». The memory of prison still haunts Rasoulof: “I didn’t want to go back” he told “Le Monde”. «I was in isolation for forty days in a room the size of a sofa. No physical torture, but they do other terrible things, like not letting you go to the bathroom for hours, which means you no longer dare to eat or drink.” The director walked the red carpet with his daughter Baran, keeping in view the photos of the two leading actors, who were prevented from leaving Iran. In the theater he received over 15 minutes of applause: «I thank the people who allowed me to make the film. I hope with all my heart that the oppressive apparatus of the dictatorship will end.”

The «La plus precieuse des merchandise» competition closed, the first cartoon by Michel Hazanavicius, the story of a little girl thrown into the snow by a crashed train on her way to Auschwitz and saved by a couple of lumberjacks. Noble theme and hymn to the love that saves the world with the reciting voice of Jean-Louis Trintignantalready sick and blind, here in his last act.

Finally, there was sky-high enthusiasm for the cinema lesson George Lucas. The legendary director and producer, 80 years old, who will receive the Palme d’honneur this evening, did not spare his anecdotes, recounting his friendship with Francis Ford Coppola, which helped him make his debut (“then in ’69 we founded Zoetrope and our adventure began”), the success with “American Graffiti”, his favorite film, the decline of the old studios and the birth of the “New Hollywood”: «We were a fierce group, with Coppola, Spielberg, Scorsese, Schrader… We exchanged ideas and projects, we weren’t interested in money, we wanted to make cinema». The «Star Wars» saga? «I made the first film for twelve-year-olds, there was the Vietnam war and I wanted to cheer people up. Then, in a surprising way, everyone around the world liked that story. In his own way he taught a great lesson in tolerance.” From director he became producer, including for Spielberg and Kurosawa: «I enjoyed making films that were impossible for others». He always liked being autonomous and self-sufficient: “It’s not like they told Michelangelo how to build the Sistine Chapel.” His secret? “I’ve always been a stubborn boy.”

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