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Cannes: Brad Pitt talks recession, 'Killing Me Softly'

He made the temperature rise in Cannes. Again.

One year after his Best Picture nominee "Tree of Life," Brad Pitt is back in Cannes, and in the competition with "Killing Them Softly" by New Zealander Andrew Dominik (who teamed with Pitt on "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford").

Based on a novel by George V. Higgins, the film is set in the middle of the 2006 U.S election campaign. In a small anonymous town, crippled by the financial meltdown, gangster, Jackie Cogan (a slick Brad Pitt) is made to find the men behind a recent hold up following an illegal poker game.

“Although on the surface the film is a bit old school, we wanted the story to reflect events that are happening today,” Brad Pitt told the press at Cannes.

What Dominik’s comical-philosophical dialogue helps paint is the picture of an America that is losing its values. Pitt denies that the film praises violence. On the contrary.

"We live in a world where violence is a constant presence. For gangsters, it’s the norm. I admit I would find it harder playing a racist than a man that shoots people in the head,” he laughs.

When asked about the inclusion of some of Obama’s speeches in the film, Brad Pitt explained it was more of "a message of hope more than a cynical critic on the failures of America.”

Is it a plug for the next U.S elections?

"I am scared that American TV networks choose to broadcast a lot of negative press more than they have done in the past. Personally, I lean towards the left. And I think that the ideals that make up the United States of America: innovation, integrity and justice – more than ever have to be defended. It’s very easy for things to get out of control.”