In presenting the Jury Prize, which was a tie between France’s Les Miserables and Brazil’s Bacurau, the director of last year’s anti-Trump documentary Fahrenheit 11/9, said “Picassso said ‘Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.’ Or, as we say in America, Trump is the lie that enables us, well, more lying.”
“Art in dark times is what has helped saved humanity,” added Moore, “It’s the arts and the filmmakers who inspired the masses to not give up, to not despair, to think, to laugh at the madness, to mourn the loses, to rise up and defeat the insanity with love.”
The Cannes awards ceremony is quite brisk –around an hour in time– when compared to the three-hour-plus running time of the Oscars. There’s typically not a lot of time for political messages from the podium.
At the press conference, Cannes Fest Jury Head Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu concurred with Moore’s onstage remarks saying “Art is a reflection of the world….Art can see the future in a past edition.”
On Late Night With Stephen Colbert a year ago, Moore wondering why more people weren’t standing up to Trump.
“Sadly, Trump is not going to leave,” he said. “He plans to be reelected, he loves the term ‘president for life.’ The only way that we’re going to stop this is eventually we’re all going to have to put our bodies on the line. You’re going to have to be willing to do this.”
It was fitting that Les Miserables director Lady Ly received the Jury Prize from Moore since he too is known for being a documentary filmmaker. The movie is Ly’s feature-narrative debut and it’s inspired by the three-week 2005 French riots, a time of civil unrest with looting, violence and car burnings.
Ly said from the stage that Les Misérables, “talks about different things that are common in this territory; the thing that is common between us is misery.” And, with that, he dedicated the prize to “all the miserables of France.” A timely statement given that this is the 28th weekend in a row that the yellow vest protesters are out in the streets here in France and ahead of European elections tomorrow. Amazon purchased U.S. rights to Les Miserables for $1.5M.