Forbidden to leave Russia, director Kirill Serebrennikov will not go to the Cannes film festival
Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, whose new film will compete in Cannes, is banned from leaving Russian territory and will therefore not be able to legally attend the festival, says his lawyer. “Kirill (Serebrennikov) cannot leave Russian territory,” said Dmitri Kharitonov, specifying that this ban would be in effect until the end of the suspension attached to the prison sentence to which his client was sentenced, ie until ‘to June 2023.
The 51-year-old artist was sentenced at the end of June 2020 to a three-year suspended prison sentence and a fine in a case of embezzlement of public subsidies that he contests. In August 2017, he was arrested and then placed under house arrest for more than a year and a half, accused with associates of having embezzled around 130 million rubles (1.8 million euros) between 2011 and 2014.
In the running for the Palme d’Or
For his supporters, the director and director has in fact been punished for his sometimes daring works mixing sexuality – including homosexuality -, politics and religion, while the Kremlin defends a return to “traditional values”. The lawsuits sparked a wave of international support for Kirill Serebrennikov.
The organizers of the 74th Cannes Film Festival announced last Thursday that his latest feature film, “Petrov’s Flu”, would compete for the Palme d’Or. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Russian writer Alexeï Salnikov, in which the sad daily life of a family from Yekaterinburg, an industrial city in the Urals, takes a surreal turn when all three members contract the flu.
The feature film is due out in Russia on September 9, according to its distributor, Sony Pictures. After the news of his nomination to Cannes, Kirill Serebrennikov said he was “happy” that the film could be seen at the Festival, according to a press release issued by its distributor. “I wasn’t planning to shoot this movie. He came to me, captured me and I became his prisoner with great pleasure. It came at a pretty difficult time in my life, as an enforceability, an essential joy, even as a kind of lifeline, ”he said.