Ukrainian Filmmakers at Cannes Protested Censorship of Russian ‘Genocide’

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The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine continues to make its presence felt at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Ukrainian cast and crew members protested social-media censorship of Russian “genocide” at the May 25 premiere of their film, Butterfly Vision. The group covered their faces with content-warning signs and held a banner that read, “Russians kill Ukrainians. Do you find it offensive and disturbing to talk about this genocide?” Air-raid sirens wailed as the protesters — including director Maksym Nakonechni, producers Darya Bassel and Yelizaveta Smit, and lead actress Rita Burkovska — stood on the red-carpet steps. Butterfly Vision follows a Ukrainian soldier attempting to return to civilian life after being kept as a Russian prisoner. This year, Cannes banned Russian state delegations and any individuals tied to the Putin administration. However, Russian filmmakers were allowed to attend the festival, despite controversial calls for a boycott of Russian films. The demonstration from the Butterfly Vision crew comes five days after a naked activist was removed from the festival for protesting sexual violence against women in Ukraine during the Russian conflict. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy also referenced the war during his opening address at Cannes, asking, “Will cinema stay silent or will it talk about it?”

Ukrainian Filmmakers Protested Russian ‘Genocide’ at Cannes