Like every year, here we are in Cannes, the festival par excellence, now in its 72nd edition, presenting the best of the best of international cinema, a true point of reference for all professionals and fans of the seventh art.
Our mission? Always the same. To tell you about Africa, Asia and Latin America on the Croisette and to preview the films coming out in theaters and that you might find in Milan in the program of the next FESCAAAL 2020.
Africa and the return of Senegal to the official competition
Senegal, the homeland of great filmmakers, makes a great return to Cannes in the official selection after more than 20 years with Mati Diop and her Atlantique in the running for the Palme d’Or. The young filmmaker is the daughter of musician Wasis Diop and granddaughter of the great Djibril Diop Mambéty, whom we paid tribute to at the last edition of our Festival on the occasion of the restoration of one of his greatest masterpieces, Hyènes, and the publication in Italy of the book dedicated to him. In this film too, Mati Diop talks about the sea, a place of landings and departures and a space to be crossed in order to hope for a better future.
Also in the official competition we point out Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo, the second chapter of the saga dedicated to Tunisian youth by director Abdellatif Kechiche, already Palme d’Or in 2013 for La vie d’Adele.
In the Un Certain Regard section, dedicated to the most original works of the year, a dear friend of our Festival, whom many of you have had the pleasure of meeting in some of our past editions, Maryam Touzani.
Maryam comes to Cannes with her first feature film Adam, a delicate and powerful story of women set in Casablanca, Morocco, about encounters and life paths that will change forever. Once again, Maryam’s attentive gaze is dedicated to telling the story of the female universe and its facets, as it had already done in her previous short films that you have seen at FESCAAAL, such as Quand il dorment and Aya Goes to the Beach, both available in DVD version and for rent in our Catalogue COEmedia Distribuzione Cinema.
Asia between bears and palms
A large Asian presence is reconfirmed again this year on the croisette. In our selection from the official competition we point out Nan fang che zhan de ju hai (The lake of wild geese) the film by Diao Yinan whose noir Black Coal, Thin Ice (Fireworks in broad daylight) we had presented to you in 2015, fresh from the Golden Bear at the Berlinale that year.
Moving on to Quinzane des Realisateurs, a festival within the festival dedicated to independent productions, we fly to Japan with Takashi Miike’s Hatsukoi to spend a night in vibrant Tokyo with a young boxer struggling with his first love. With an anarchic and funny style, we will follow the destinies of the protagonists ready to meet and complicate each other.
For the first time in selection at Cannes Midi Z, Taiwanese director born in Myanmar, who in the program of Un Certain Regard presents his latest film Nina Wu, which deepens and declines the difficulties of women in the world of work, focusing on the vicissitudes of an actress who will face some complicated situations. The filmmaker’s work is inspired by the events that, after the Weinstein sex scandal, hit the Holluwood and beyond and gave birth to the #MeToo movement.
Latin America remembers the past and looks to the future
Our Latin American recommendations cross a bridge of generations and genres between past and future, from Chile and Brazil, in different sections of the festival.
Patricio Guzmán, one of the best-known names in Chilean cinema, brings to Cannes the documentary La cordillera de los sueños, with which he continues to show the infinite beauty of Chile. Along with the breathtaking landscapes, he continues to reflect on the role of documentary works and to question the viewer on the most contemporary political current affairs in his country.
We remain in South America but move to Brazil for Bacurau by Kleber Mendoça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, an intriguing film in competition, described as a modern-day crazy western with a futuristic feel, which through the events of the village of Bacurau, in the rural northeast, tells of Brazil today, amidst violence and acts of resistance.
Cannes and the spotlight on multicultural Europe
Ingmar Bergman maintained that cinema is the art form that, more than any other, is able to stir consciences. An opinion certainly shared by the Cannes selection committee which, among the 21 films nominated to take home the Palme d’Or, has chosen two that in a particular way shine the spotlight on the situation in Europe crossed by controversy and political turmoil.
The Dardenne brothers, great regulars of the festival since their first film presented on the croisette in 1996, present Le jeune Ahmed, the portrait of a young man and the precarious balance between faith and the upheavals of adolescence. Deeply marked by the recent attacks in France and Belgium, the two brothers of Belgian cinema have decided to try to describe what lies at the root of religious radicalization, to tell a story of growth and to question the Europe of today.
Ladj Ly’s first film, Les Misérables, is also about Europe and the coexistence of cultures. It is a burning Europe, affected by deep social and cultural tensions, that we see in this film, a damned, aggressive and intolerant Europe synthesized in the events of violence in a Parisian banlieue, which wants to tell the story of France, but also speak to the outskirts of the world. The title clearly refers to Hugo’s famous novel, which has many things in common with the work, starting with the title and the neighborhood in which the film and book are set, Montfermeil. The homage is also declared by the final quotation “Mes amis, retenez ceci, il n’y a ni mauvaises herbes ni mauvais hommes. Il n’y a que de mauvais cultivateurs.”
These are just a few of the recommendations for you about the films in the Cannes 72 program, which we hope to see soon in theaters or at the upcoming African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival.
Bon Festival à tous!