Deauville stars on the return of cinema

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FRANCE 24 spoke to filmmakers and actors at this year’s Deauville Film Festival about the return of cinema in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of the simple joys of going to the movies.

After a period in which cinemas around the world were shuttered, the return of audiences to movie theatres is “important generally because it gives hope, but also so that cinema lives on”, singer, actress and president of this year’s Deauville jury Vanessa Paradis told FRANCE 24.

“Movies only exist because people go to cinemas, go to see films,” she said. “We need art and culture: to live, to dream, to feel better.”

Actor Vincent Lacoste said he was enjoying the chance to watch films on a daily basis in his role as a member of the jury, after so long being deprived of the cinema-going experience.

“It’s really important that a festival like this can take place,” he said. “It means forgetting a bit about Covid, because after a while if we only talk about Covid we’ll go crazy.”

Meanwhile, American director Jonathan Nossiter, whose film “Last Words” is screening in competition, pointed out that cinemas in many parts of the world were already under threat through dwindling audience numbers and closures before the pandemic.

“With quarantine and the effects of Covid, we don’t know if cinema will survive,” he said.

“So yeah, we’re living … on the edge, on the absolute edge, which is terrifying, but it’s also thrilling because it means anytime anyone goes to the cinema now they’re affirming an act of political liberty, of personal liberty. There’s something heroic and something quite beautiful.”

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