A lesbian love story has captured the hearts and caught much attention at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Not only did the movie deliver with emotion but it also reflected upon the current social atmosphere in France regarding same-sex relationship and marriage. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” took home top honor by winning the Palme d’Or.
The film raised eyebrows with its explicit love scenes but the intimacy embraced the relationship between two women and the many issues that arises around them. With a 15 year-old girl as one of the lead characters, the film recognizes the struggle gay teens face with embracing individuality and coming to terms with their sexuality.
In accepting the award, Kechiche dedicated the award to youth in his own country of Tunisia as the Tunisian director realized the film will probably not be accepted back in his native land.
“I would like to dedicate the movie and the award to another youth, for an act that happened a while ago, the Tunisian revolution, for their ambition to live free, express themselves, and to love freely.”
Kechiche’s words take on greater meaning in France as demonstrators continue to protest the newly enacted same-sex marriage law. On Saturday and Sunday nearly 300 people were arrested showcasing their anger over the acceptance of gay marriage in the country. Despite this, the majority of French citizens do accept gay marriage and adoption but it will still be a challenge for same-sex couples to live freely.
“Blue is the Warmest Color” taking home the Palme d’Or hit on the political ramifications of love. The true message of the movie is about true love and the film was able to allow audiences to see past it as a movie about a lesbian couple. Audiences and critics left with the influences of a powerful love story between two people and a recognition of their own relationship.
Jury president Steven Spielberg spoke about the politics surrounding the movie and how it had no effect on the movie’s success.
“Politics was not in the room with us. We just all felt (this) was a profound love story. We didn’t think about how it was going to play, we just were really happy that someone had the courage to tell this story the way he did…The issue of gay marriage is one that many brave states in America are resolving in a way that suits all of us that in favor of gay marriage.”
Courage, bravery, understanding, and acceptance seem to be all key elements this movie encompasses and the political message sent fourth is simply one embodied by the natural sentiments of human emotion.