Can you judge the success of a Cannes Film Festival by the number of controversies it causes? If that’s the case, then 2010 is promising to be one of the greats, because two movies have already hit the headlines before the projectors have even been turned on.
“Hors la loi,” which tells the story about the origins of the Algerian liberation army FLN in France, has triggered the anger of UMP politicians in the region of Alpes-Maritimes. An extremist right-wing group is even threatening to “spoil” the festival. The other hotly debated movie is “Draquila,” a docu-fiction by Italian director Sabine Guzzanti, who wants to reveal corruption close to Silvio Berlusconi in the reconstruction of l’Acquila after the earthquake in 2009.
These fringe films are matched by mainstream movies which also deal with “issues.” Among them are “Fair Game,” Doug Liman’s look at the Valerie Plame case, and two films examining the financial crisis: “Inside Job,” a documentary narrated by Matt Damon, and “Wall Street:?Money Never Sleeps” by Oliver Stone.
Meanwhile, the festival continues to invite filmmakers who might raise eyebrows as they did last year, when “Spring Fever,” a movie by Chinese director Lou Ye, who is banned from filming in China, screened.
This year the president of the festival, Gilles Jacob, has sent a symbolic jury invitation to Iranian moviemaker Jafar Panahi, who has been imprisoned since March 1 for his film critical of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime.