Did Cate Blanchett show solidarity with Gaza at the Cannes Film Festival?

Did Cate Blanchett show solidarity with Gaza at the Cannes Film Festival?
The renowned Australian actress appeared to subtly show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza at the Cannes Film Festival, using the colours of her dress
3 min read
21 May, 2024
Blanchett's dress on the red carpet closely resembled a Palestinian flag [Getty]

Acclaimed Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett wore a dress on the red carpet in France which encompassed most of the Palestinian flag’s colours, in a move interpreted as a show of solidarity with Gaza.

The Australian actress walked the red carpet on Monday evening at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Blanchett sported a form-fitting satin Jean-Paul Gaultier number designed by French-Colombian Haider Ackerman.

The dress featured a black front and a pale pink back, which appeared white in certain photographs.

It also had a bright green lining which was visible when Blanchett lifted the dress while posing for photographs at the premiere of the Donald Trump biopic, The Apprentice.

Blanchett’s seemingly deliberate lifting of the green lining against the colour of the red carpet was understood by many pro-Palestinian activists online as a subtle show of solidarity with Gazans, as the dress and the carpets colours are similar to that of the Palestinian national flag.

At least 35,647 Palestinians – mostly women and children -  have been killed by Israel’s relentless military campaign in the enclave, which started on October 7.

Israel’s atrocities in the territory have been described as genocide and war crimes by NGOs and rights goroups.

On Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICC) issued an arrest warrant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. The ICC is also seeking the arrest of Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, the head of its military wing, Mohammed Deif, and the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh.

Shows of pro-Palestinian solidarity has been rare at the internationally-renowned film festival, as Cannes has preemptively banned protests during the event's length of 11 days.

However, French-Algerian actress Leila Bekhti took to the red carpet on Wednesday wearing a watermelon pin in the shape of a heart. The watermelon has emerged as a symbol of Palestinian solidarity, particularly on social media.

In November last year, Blanchett called for a ceasefire in Gaza, in an address at the European Parliament.

"I am not Syrian. I am not Ukrainian, I’m not from Israel or Palestine. I’m not a politician. I’m not even a pundit. But I am a witness," she said. "And having witnessed the human cost of war, violence and persecution visiting refugees from across the globe, I cannot look away".

"Earlier this week, UNHCR's high commissioner called together with several other humanitarian organizations for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and the immediate release of all civilians held hostage", she added in the speech.

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In October, Blanchett was among the 55 Hollywood signatories who signed an open letter to US President Joe Biden, urging for a ceasefire in the war-hit territory.

The New Arab contacted Blanchett's agency to comment on the matter, but did not receive an n answer in time of publication.