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The Cannes Film Festival gave Ukraine an early shout-out in its lineup unveiling Thursday, revealing that Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa would be bringing his latest feature to the event.
The filmmaker’s Natural History of Destruction will be getting a special screening, shared festival boss Thierry Frémaux, who later also announced that Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov’s new drama Tchaïkovski’s Wife would compete for the festival’s Palme d’Or.
Loznitsa made headlines in February after he quit the European Film Academy over its response to the Russian invasion. In an open letter, Loznitsa said the EFA has been too timid in its response and unwilling to call out and condemn Russian aggression, prompting the organization to change its tone with a new statement. It should also be noted that Loznitsa — the only Ukrainian to quit the EFA — was earlier expelled by the Ukrainian Film Academy, in part for opposing a total boycott of Russian cinema.
But the filmmaker is no stranger to Cannes. In 2010, his film My Joy competed for the Palme d’Or, as did his 2012 film In the Fog. His doc Maidan had its world premiere in a special screening at Cannes in May 2014, a record of the 2013–14 popular protests in Kyiv and their violent suppression.
In support of the people of Ukraine, Cannes has banned Russian delegations and anyone connected to the Russian government from attending the 75th edition of the festival. However, it stopped short of banning Russian filmmakers, a move that saw Serebrennikov return to the festival after screening his feature The Student at the festival in 2016. The director — who was detain by Russian authorities and spent several years under house arrest — has spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Serebrennikov recently left the country and is now living in Paris.
Other special screenings in Cannes 2022 include Ethan Coen’s documentary Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind.
The Cannes Film Festival is due to run May 17-28.
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