Nadine Labaki sends strong message on Gaza from Cannes festival

Nadine Labaki sends strong message on Gaza from Cannes festival
The world-renowned Lebanese director and actress used her platform to send a strong message, supposedly about Gaza, reeling under Israel's war.
2 min read
27 May, 2024
Labaki made the comments during the film festival's closing ceremony on Saturday [Getty]

Oscar-nominated Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki used her platform at the Cannes Film Festival to make an emotional speech about Israel’s war on Gaza, without naming it.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 77th Cannes Film Festival where she was a jury member, Labaki said it was wrong to remain indifferent during times of injustice around the world.

"There are films that remind us of our reality and remind us that the world is, unfortunately, divided into groups and that there are still unbearable injustices," she told the audience on Saturday in French.

"But regardless of the group you belong to, it’s not normal to stay indifferent when there are thousands of children dying under bombardment in their sleep – "she says, before being interrupted by a round of applause.

"…Nor is it normal to stay indifferent when there are women losing their eyes, their hands, their arms, their legs, and their lives for basic freedom," she continues.

It was not clear who her comments on women were in reference to but some on social media have speculated that she may have been speaking about Iran, where authorities continue to crack down on protesters demanding changes to the country’s strict rules on women's wear and other freedoms.

Over 36,000 people have been killed in Israel’s unprecedented air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip since October 7 last year. Most of the casualties have been women and children, according to the territory’s health authorities.

The latest massacre was an Israeli attack on a displacement camp in the city of Rafah which killed at least 45 people, many of them children.