2022 Cannes Film Festival will be screening the documentary about Mantas Kvedaravičius was allegedly killed by Russian forces last month.
Cannes Film Festival is taking an initiative in making its point of view about the Russian invasion of Ukraine well known. They have already banned Russian films and journalists and had taken a sole step by announcing that they will be screening the film of the late director Mantas Kvedaravičius who was allegedly killed by Russian forces in Ukraine in April.
The Cannes Film Festival has always been political and never loses an opportunity to make an opinion on the affairs of the State.
When Iran banned moviemaker Jafar Panahi from leaving his country, his work, Cannes Film Festival premiered his movie Three Faces and welcomed him with a standing ovation, and an empty chair was placed symbolically on the stage. The message was loud and clear, and this year Cannes has highlighted its acute displeasure over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
After they banned Russian films, they have now also said no entry to Russian journalists. The rejection is prohibited to those Russian publications that do not see eye-to-eye with Cannes’ stand on the war. It means this decision will apply to only those who support Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime’s war.
Cannes Film gives special importance to the film by Lithuania’s Mantas Kvedaravičius, who was allegedly killed by Russian forces in April when he was filming in the city of Mariupol, where there was more number of casualties. His film, Mariupolis 2, will screen on May 19.
A Festival Press release noted: “As we know, the Lithuanian moviemaker, Mantas Kvedaravičius, who directed Barzakh (2011), Mariupolis (2016), and Parthenon (2019), was captured and murdered by the Russian army in Mariupol in early April. His fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova, who was with him at the time, was able to bring back the footage filmed there and edited it with Mantas’ editor Dounia Sichov. It was essential to show it, we added it.”
The director was just 45-years-old who was he was rushed to a hospital but could not be saved.
On 2nd April, The Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced the filmmaker’s death. “While (he was) trying to leave Mariupol, Russian occupiers killed Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius.”
After his death, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda also stated, “We lost a creator well known in Lithuania and in the whole world, who, until the very last moment, in spite of the danger, worked in Russia-occupied Ukraine.”
In 2016, Mantas documented the everyday life of Ukrainians as war clouds were beginning to gather over the small country. He returned to Mariupol in 2022 to capture the city as it lay under beneatha punishing blockade.
A note at the beginning of Mariupolis 2 reads: “Do you know what is most extraordinary about Mariupol? None of it’s inhabitants feared death, even when it was there. Death was already present and nobody wanted to die to no avail. People supported one another at the peril of their lives. They smoked and chatted outside, in spite of the bombs. There wasn’t any money left and life had become too short to be remembered, so people were content with what they had and pushed their limits. There no longer was any past or future, no judging, no implying anything. It was heaven in hell, the delicate wings of the butterfly fluttering closer and closer to one another, the smell of death in its raw dimension. It was the heartbeat of life.”