Feminist reflection wins at Cannes Film Festival

French women took to the big screen and the red carpet for patriarchy through the Cannes screening “Feminist Repost” by Mary Berenice and Simon Deporton, an influential poster campaign by feminist activists highlighting the cruelty of sexual violence.

Political protests on the red carpet in Cannes have been explicitly banned. But already twice this year, the famed pavement has been the scene of dramatic protests calling for violence against women.

On Friday, a woman intercepted a red carpet premiere and took off her clothes to express the slogan “Stop raping us” next to the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. She quickly hid and got excited.

Two days later, feminist activists took to another premiere, unfurled a long banner bearing the names of the 129 women murdered in France, and finally the festival took place. This time the security was in disarray as black-clad protesters paused on the steps of the Palais des Festival, releasing smoke bubbles from handheld devices hidden in their clothes.

Cannes Film Festival © France24

The struggle of the members Coles The activist group matched Ali Abbasi’s competitive entry with the first scene of “Holy Spider”, which was about a series of murders of sex workers in Iran. It’s linked to another image, “Repost feminist”(“ Feminist Repost ”), which was screened later in the day, documenting their struggle against sex, sexual violence and the oppression of feminism.

Brushes, glue and sheets of paper, The Coles – In fact, pastors – have launched an economic, creative and highly effective campaign to make women’s voices heard in cities and towns across France, plastering walls with slogans condemning sexual violence. The “Feminist Repost” of Mary Berenice and Simon Deporton, who bravely follow the law to stick their slogans in the streets during the Govt-19 locks and curfew orders, follow through on night raids.

“Sex is everywhere – so are we,” says a popular slogan. “If you don’t want to put us inside, we’ll keep the stuff outside,” reads another, with only male artists at a group exhibition at the entrance to an art gallery in the Breton city of Brest. Action and message are equally important Coles Reclaim public spaces where street names, building facades and graffiti oppose the spread of male ubiquity.


“Did you notice the number of cocks drawn everywhere during the Tour de France?” Asks with a start Coles In one of the many famous lines of the film. “Why do men need to draw their penis everywhere?”

The “feminist repost” strikes its own response Tour of France, A journey through the country’s large and small towns and cities, meets young women who are “strong, united and bad” who are fighting for patriarchy. Their joyous activity is driven by sorority (scenes like them stirring glue and hot water in pots, “sorcerers above their cauldrons”, a particular treat). But they also take note of the urgency of their cause in a country where stubbornly high female homicides occur.

Throughout the film, Berenice and Debarton remain silent spectators, allowing for an atmosphere of understanding and solidarity that permeates the discussions of the groups. Coles Feel easy and open up about difficult things.

One person told me in the first place, “I believe in you, that it divided me,” says one activist, describing the personal ordeal he experienced. “It simply came to our notice then.

“Touch one of us and we will strike back,” the painted words warn, indicating that the Coliseum is ready to repay the money. In one powerful scene, a feminist march calms down a group of anti-abortion activists, chanting, “My body, my will, shut your mouth now!”


FRANCE 24 spoke to the film’s co-directors about the creation of “Feminist Repost” and its significance. Coles For the world’s premier film festival.


The film reveals the liberating effect of pasting messages on the walls and “retrieving” them. How did you film those scenes?

Mary Berenice: Slogans on the wall are just as important as the message in practice. This is the whole idea behind the recapture of public spaces. In this place where women are not generally welcomed you have to get it back day and night and make it clear that you have every right to be there.

We tried to back up this idea of ​​redistribution by the way we filmed the scenes and the way we put our camera. Trembling portable camera ‘stealing’ pictures, almost with fear, adding stress and urgency, we do not want this to be a news report. Instead, we put our camera on the tripod, claiming the street right with them (The Coles) And in support of their action, underlining that they have every right to be there.

Simon Departon: Our aim was to create something political and cinematic. We do not want to do the history of the movement, the camera-facing interviews. We wanted to capture the moving picture instead ColesIt will be screened in theaters and will last for a period of time.

A still from
A still from the “Feminist Repost” by Mary Berners and Simon Departon. © Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

How important was it for you to cover the width of France?

MP: We were adamant that films that deal with political issues should not be stopped in Paris. We wanted to travel across the country, meet different types of people, and search for details in each city or town. We want to show the connection between young activists who do not know each other, but act with the same determination and courage across the country.

SD: The posters were an excuse, an opportunity to photograph French youth, and the political involvement of a generation that did not care. We wanted to oppose the notion that rural areas of the country are being lost to the far right. Young people want to participate in the democratic life of the country. Not only by voting, but by paint, glue and paper – and without asking permission.

Your film highlights the inherent nature of the movement and its struggle against all forms of discrimination. It does not touch on divisions in issues of transphobia and biological gender. Was it a deliberate decision?

SD: Our film is not a comprehensive study of feminism. The vibe we got while touring the country was so sociable and so passionate about changing things, especially female murders. The issue of transphobia came up for discussion, but to a certain extent was not the only source of divisions. We don’t want to give more importance to what we actually see on the ground.

Numi Robes wonders what it would be like to be a member of the Cannes Jury

Numi Robes - Cannes 2022
Numi Robes – Cannes 2022 © France24

MP: We were disappointed to see that the media often gave a distorted, almost caricatured view of the movement. We wanted to be true to the young women we met, and we moved them deeper. These are complex issues and not a complete history of our film movement. It is based on 10 groups Coles Of the 200 or more in France, and the problem of (psoriasis) did not cause tension.

The Coles Had a huge impact on the festival. What’s next for them?

SD: We were happy to be able to bring so many people together Coles Here in Cannes from different parts of the country. They stay in touch on social media, but have never met before and it was so flexible to see them get together at the festival. They took advantage of the opportunity to do something amazing on the red carpet. To give visibility to reason, it is important to have such powerful images.

MB: Posters are more of a tool than a movement, you can line up on the red carpet on a small street or in Cannes at night. We are talking about something that is diverse, that will continue and evolve. Our concern was to keep track of a movement that belonged to a particular time, and in the post-Kovit moment, people felt a great need to express themselves and change things. Even if the posters are over, there will be stability and will manifest itself one way or another. Our film is not about posters; It’s about young women who struggle for a cause.

Simon Departon and Mary Berenice posed for a photo shoot
Simon Departon and Mary Berenice posed for a photo shoot for the “Feminist Repost”. © Mehdi Sebil, France24

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