Cannes stars take discreet stances on Gaza war

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They may be attending one of the glitziest festivals on the planet, but some personalities in Cannes are signalling they have not forgotten the war in Gaza.

Laura Blajman-Kadar, a survivor of the October 7 attacks on Israel, swept up the red carpet on Tuesday in a bright yellow dress calling for the release of Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.

Her dress, in a colour that has become synonymous with the cause, featured the images of some of the hostages.

French actress Leila Beikhti was more discreet, pinning a pro-Palestinian watermelon heart broach to her black dress for the same premiere of “Furiosa”.

Last month she recorded a video with the UN children’s fund UNICEF calling for humanitarian aid to help the children in the war-torn Palestinian territory.

A day earlier, a French actor Philippe Torreton wore a yellow ribbon to show support for the Israeli hostages.

Jury member Omar Sy, of “Lupin” fame, at the start of the festival called for a ceasefire on Instagram.

“There is nothing that justifies the killing of children, in Gaza. Or anywhere,” he wrote.

Since October last year, Israel’s military has killed at least 35,272 people, also mostly civilians in Gaza, according to the health ministry in the Gaza Strip.

Few films linked to the Middle East conflict are screening in Cannes.

A documentary out of competition to screen on Friday is titled “The Belle of Gaza” but bears little relation to the conflict. The film by a French director follows the struggles and dreams of Palestinian trans women in Tel Aviv.

Pro-Palestinian activists have in the past accused Israel of pink-washing, or showing off its tolerance to the LGBTQ community to coat over its human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian filmmaker Mehdi Fleifel is screening his feature “To a Land Unknown” about two cousins who grew up as Palestinian refugees in Lebanon trying to get from Greece to a better life in Germany in a side section.

A single Israeli film called “It’s Not Time for Pop” is showing. The short by a film student follows a young woman not interested in taking part in patriotic celebrations.

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