French director Robin Campillo poses at a photocall in Cannes on May 28, 2017, after receiving the Grand Prix of the Festival for his film „120 Beats per minute“
The Cannes Film Festival, one year after rewarding „120 Beats per minute“, hosts fifteen films addressing homosexuality or gender issues, twice as often as usual. With a new approach: the difference is not necessarily the main subject.
„A milestone has been crossed: we have finally finished with the movies on the + coming out + and this + painful problem + of homosexuality.That’s good news!“ Says AFP critic Franck Finance-Madureira, organizer of the Queer Palm, an independent award that rewards a film evoking LGBT issues (homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender) among all those presented in Cannes.
In the running for the Palme d’Or, Frenchman Yann Gonzalez signs a thrilling thriller with „A knife in the heart“. Vanessa Paradis is a gay porn movie producer confronted with the murder of one of her actors.
Also in competition, Christophe Honoré tells his side a love story almost banal in „Pleasure, love and run fast“, projected this Thursday in the shadow of AIDS.
First Kenyan film selected in Cannes, but censored in his own country, „Rafiki“ addresses the passage to adulthood through a romance between two young women, with the will according to its director Wanuri Kahiu to show a „joyous“ Africa.
In „Girl“ by Belgian Lukhas Dhont, Lara, 15, born a boy, dreams of becoming a star dancer. Beyond the distracted quest of her sexual identity, the film highlights a copy of a relationship between a father and his child.
For Christophe Honoré, however, the sexuality of the characters does not necessarily have to induce a „particular identity“ for the films.
„It’s something we have to go beyond, when it comes to the sexuality of the greatest number, this question does not arise when we pose it in the face of a love story between two men“, says the French director.
Equivalent to the Teddy Award, the Berlin Festival’s gay trophy, the Queer Palm, which is 10 years old, is supported by the Interministerial Delegation for the fight against racism and anti-LGBT hatred.
„This year, there are twice as many LGBT films than usual, with a wide variety of topics,“ observes Franck Finance-Madureira, co-editor of FrenchMania.
– ‚Full characters‘ –
French actresses Léa Seydoux (G) and Adele Exarchopoulos (D) embrace Franco-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche, just after receiving the Palme d’Or in Cannes on May 26, 2013
For a long time now, the Cannes Film Festival has been interested in these subjects, with the Palme d’Or being awarded unanimously in 2013 to Abdellatif Kechiche’s „La Vie d’Adèle“ and his two performers, Léa Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos.
That year, Queer Palm preferred Alain Guiraudie’s „L’Inconnu du Lac“. Incidentally, Franck Finance-Madureira invites heterosexual directors to document: „The sex scenes of + The Life of Adele + make lesbians laugh a lot because of their lack of realism!“
Chaired by French producer Sylvie Pialat, the jury of Queer Palm has also selected for the Directors‘ Fortnight the film „Carmen and Lola“ by the Spanish artist Arantxa Echevarria, a love story between two gypsies.
„Homosexuality is less and less the main theme of LGBT films, and Alain Guiraudie, whom I produce, was one of the first to defend characters in their own right beyond their homosexuality. LGBT movies in Cannes this year is simply a reflection of life, „observes Sylvie Pialat.
Local initiative during the Festival, Cannes Ecrans Juniors, selection for college students to „confront the world“, had also pre-selected a gay movie, „Mario“, from Switzerland Marcel Gisler. In theaters on August 1, the film tells a romance between two teenagers with a backdrop of homophobia in the sport. However, some Cannes teachers of Education have judged the film „not suitable for schoolchildren“.
Responsible for this initiative, the critic Gerard Camy, „taking note“ of the decision of the teachers, however, maintained the film in „coup de coeur“ but the only planned projection will be out of competition and outside the selection for classes of 3rd and 4th.
A decision denounced by the distributor of the film, Daniel Chabanne who sees a „censorship“, while the film has a public exploitation license of the National Classification Commission.