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Composer Alexandre Desplat was in Los Angeles on Thursday when he learned he had received Oscar nominations for his scores to The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game. Last week, on Jan. 7, Desplat was at home in Paris during the terrorist attacks at the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo. He left France two days later when police killed the two Muslim French nationals responsible for the attacks.
Desplat interlocked his fingers to describe the solidarity of France’s artistic community in the week since the killings.
“We are sad and enraged — but in a positive way, not in a revenge way,” he says. “I didn’t hear anyone say, ‘Go kill them.’ Go get them, yes, but I think sadness is the feeling in France.
“If you look at Fox News, they say there are places you can’t go, that Muslims have made it not safe. It’s not true — it’s in their dreams.”
A reader of Charlie Hebdo since his youth — cartoonist Jean Cabut, who was fatally shot during the attack, “was a silly figure of my childhood” — Desplat further explained the magazine and its mission.
“Religion and power — that is their battle and their fun. Muslims are not the only [targets]. For many, many years, Charlie was also shooting at any other religion.
“The orthodox Catholics — they have grown [in numbers] in the last five years, that want to go back to black dress and are against gays — are very unhappy [with Charlie Hebdo]. They have started saying Charlie has done something bad against Pope Francis. Yes, they did something that makes fun of them, but they’re caricatures.”
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.
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