Political slant at Cannes' Critics Week

Theme honors cancellation of '68 festival

PARIS -- "Cinema and Politics" will be in the spotlight at the Festival de Cannes' Critics Week sidebar this year, with politically charged filmmakers Fernando Solonas, Romain Goupil and Hany Abu Assad picked as official ambassadors of the 2008 edition.

The "Cinema and Politics" theme is in honor of the 40th anniversary of the festival's cancellation in May 1968. Amid a wave of student and labor strikes, French directors launched a protest of their own that year following the firing of Cinematheque Francaise president Henri Langlois, leading to the festival's closure.

Goupil, Abu Assad and Solanas all have directed politically oriented films that screened during past Critics Weeks. Goupil brought his documentary "Mourir a Trente Ans" in 1982, Abu Assad took "Le Mariage de Rana" in 2001 and Solanas offered docu "Las Horas de los Hornos" in 1968.

A special "Journee Particuliere" (Particular Day) on May 19 will feature screenings of two documentaries: Ronan Denece, Augustin Legrand and Jean-Baptiste Legrand's "Enfants de Don Quichotte" and Philippe Diaz's "The End of Poverty?" The screenings will be followed by debates.

Gael Garcia Bernal was last year's Critics Week ambassador and screened his feature "Deficit" during the sidebar.