France: Borders in Culture and Politics

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Photo by Khalil Seddiki III

The 60th Cannes Film Festival opens on Wednesday in Cannes. This year’s lineup is notable for its emphasis on borders of the mind, according to Festival Director Thierry Fremeaux. In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung, Fremeaux points out that Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai shot his film “My Blueberry Nights”—his first English language feature—in the U.S. with French money, a prime example of globalization.

Turkish-German director Fatih Akin’s film “The Edge of Heaven” is about the universal dialogue between Western and Islamic culture. Austrian Ulrich Seidl shows in “Import/Export” that the relations between Western and post-communist Eastern Europe are no longer political, but economic in nature. Check out indiewire’s list of the films to watch.

Politics too is headed for a shakeup with President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy taking office on Wednesday at the Elysee Palace with his 53 percent victory for the right-wing UMP party at the polls. Sarkozy has stirred up a storm on both sides of the political divide by announcing his intention to include figures from the opposition in his new government. The rumored favourite for Foreign Minister is the Socialist Party’s Bernard Kouchner, former health minister, co-founder of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), and one of France’s most popular politicians.

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