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Need new Chaplin to show cinema of our time not silent: Zelenskyy in video message at Cannes

In a video message at the Cannes Film Festival, Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the cinema world to show solidarity with the Ukrainians in the face of the Russian invasion.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears during the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival. (AP photo)

As the 75th Cannes Film Festival kicked off in France on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise appearance via video link. In a live satellite video address from Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for the cinema world’s solidarity with the Ukrainians in the face of the Russian invasion.

During the festival’s opening ceremony, Zelenskyy spoke at length about the connection between cinema and reality, referencing films like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” as not unlike Ukraine’s present circumstances.

“We need a new Chaplin who will demonstrate that the cinema of our time is not silent,” implored Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who drew a standing ovation.

Emphasising that their future depends on cinema, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “Today, the cinema is not silent. Remember these words.”

“The power they’ve taken from the people will be returned to the people,” said Zelenskyy.

The war in Ukraine is expected to be a regular presence in Cannes. The festival has barred Russians with ties to the government. Several films from prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary “The Natural History of Destruction” are set to be screened during the 12-day festival. Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaraviius before he was killed in Mariupol in April will also be shown by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

This is not the first time that Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made an appearance at an international event to draw attention to the war in Ukraine. Last month, Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a video message during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. He urged support for his country and asked artists to “fill the silence” brought by war with music.

(With input from AP)

ALSO READ | R Madhavan, Prasoon Joshi, Anurag Thakur, Shekhar Kapur represent India at Cannes 2022. See pics

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