Woman power in Cannes - GulfToday

Woman power in Cannes


Lebanese director Nadine Labaki poses for a photograph. AFP

Sarah Taryam, Arts Editor

The movie industry is all about equality these days, or at least it is trying to be. It is a surprise therefore to see that there are only four films made by women in the main Competition section of the Cannes Film Festival. We take a look at the movies and the successful directors behind them.

Mati Diop is a big deal. She has broken records with her movie Atlantique as she became the first black female contender for the coveted Palm d’Or. The French-Senegalese actress-turned-director’s film tells the story of a construction worker who has not been paid in months. A series of strange events begin to occur in the African coastal city where the movie is set. Diop has said that while she is happy about her achievement she is also sad that it has taken so long for a woman of colour to be recognised in the event’s 72-year history.

French director Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a period drama set in 18th century Brittany. Marianne, played by Noémie Merlant, is a free-spirited artist who is commissioned to paint a portrait of Heloise, an Italian noblewoman who has just come out of a convent. Described as elegant and enigmatic, the film shows a different side to Sciamma. Interestingly, no male character appears till the end of the movie.

Read on to discover the other two female filmmakers who are making waves at Cannes this year with their storytelling skills.

Speaking of Cannes, if you are planning a visit to the south of France region and do not fancy the glitz and glam of the place, then head a couple of hours west to Marseille. A city of contradictions, Marseille has a lot to offer and a lot to see.

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