The Cannes Film Festival results: Russophobia prospers


The Cannes Festival has come to its end, however, the Russian culture has avoided a serious danger. Even though the movie of Andrey Zvyagintsev “Loveless” has been noticed and appreciated, it has not won the Palme d’Or.

This is good news. Firstly, it means that Zvyagintsev has not reached the western standards of sterility and political correctness that are necessary for winning a prize at the Cannes Festival. Secondly, from the Cannes perspective, the director could have become an unbearable and obsessive liberal guru that had been internationally awarded and could ask not to investigate thievish directors, not to arrest boy-beggars and had his opinion about Crimea and the Kuril Islands. We do not need the second director like him because we have another one Sokurov and that is enough for us. And the movie “Loveless” which has been awarded the jury prize will be just a movie. 

“The Square” directed by Ruben Ostlund has won the Palme d’Or. And it makes a sort of sense: it is a politically correct satire on political correctness itself.

The curator of an art-gallery sets up an installation “The Square”. Getting inside this square, people should hear a request for help from another person and sympathize and encourage him. But, in reality, a few can do it: you cannot receive any human warmth and kindness from the European society. Everyone wants to be polite correct, they do not want to offend and provoke anyone. But when someone has stolen the curator’s phone and wallet, the curator’s polite correctness comes to its end and the curator starts sending letters with threats to a person who is supposed to be that robber.

Ostlund mocks a post traditional liberal world. He starts deconstructing the statue of a king, turning the palace into the museum and puts this humanistic square instead the monarch. Then there is poisonous sarcasm towards the modern art that no one understands, and when a showpiece cannot be distinguished from garbage.

The climax of the whole movie is a scene which is full of Russophobe feelings. At a decent banquet, a half-naked man-ape breaks into a golden hall and starts mocking, offending, yelling, and behaving disgracefully. Guests try to be reserved towards his outrageous behavior, they try to smile but then they get angry and turn into the same aggressive crowd of men-apes.

The name of the man-ape is Oleg Rogozhin. From one side, it reminds us a famous scandalous “actual artist”, Oleg Kulik. From another side, the Russian name turns the climax of “the Square” into a clear political metaphor. The aggressive and provocative Russia with a naked upper body breaks into the decent and polite correct party of the liberal European countries and behaves improperly and it makes the liberal decency come to its end.

The liberal policy interprets the Russian behavior as this hooligan behavior not as the fight for its people and tradition, and we can say that the Russophobia has triumphed at the Cannes. It has triumphed not as a cave Ukrainian form of Russophobia that is presented in the failed movie directed by Loznitsa, not as a form of a reflective Russophobia presented by Zvyagintsev and had a limited success, but as a form of a ironical Sweden Russophobia presented by Ostlund who asks the European world a question what it is better: to be sterile and political correct liberals or again turn into barbarians under the influence of a terrible Russia.

It seems that this issue will have influence on the European culture next years.