Civil War Flick Set In Trump’s US Set For Cannes Film Festival

A tongue-in-cheek action movie about a Trump-era civil war between redneck Texans and East Coast liberals will feature in the Director’s Fortnight sidebar at next month’s Cannes film festival, organisers said Thursday.

“Bushwick” — which is set in the newly-hip district of Brooklyn of the same name — is one of five US films in the line-up which tries to take the temperature “of a divided America”.

In the shoot-’em-up film, which has already been snapped up by Netflix, a force of rightwing southern secessionists invade and lay waste much of the New York borough.

“It’s a rather amazing dystopian fairytale which tells the story of an America divided in two, which is how it is now,” said Edouard Waintrop, who heads the Director’s Fortnight selection, which often contains some of the best films at Cannes.

He insisted they had not set out to survey Donald Trump’s America.

“We wanted to see how American cinema would react to the shock” of Trump’s election, he said.

“Rather than us looking for a film that tells what is going on in the US right now, we took four films which tell stories from very different positions.”

One of the most eagerly anticipated is Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” starring Willem Dafoe, which follows a group of children leading marginal lives on the fringes of the Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando.

“It is a film which we loved enormously and takes a very surprising look at the US of today,” Waintrop added.

Another US highlight is likely to be Chole Zhao’s “The Rider”, a story of rodeo riders from the Lakota tribe in North Dakota “that packs a punch”, he said.

The legendary “Driller Killer” director Abel Ferrara also made the line-up with a documentary about himself, “Alive in France”, while the Canadian film “Mobile Homes” is a love story set among North American “trailer trash”.

But Waintrop also promised plenty of laughs, with the selection opening with French director Claire Denis’ comedy “Un Beau Soliel Interieur” starring Juliette Binoche and Gerard Depardieu.

While France’s funniest auteur Bruno Dumont — who had hits with his two previous absurdist comedies “Slack Bay” and “Li’l Quinquin” — returns with a cheeky musical called “Jeanette, the childhood of Joan of Arc”.

Three Italian films also made the cut of 19 including the Martin Scorsese-backed “A Ciambra”, which Italian-American Jonas Carpignano shot in a Roma community in Calabria.

Seven female directors include Rungano Nyoni of Zambia who will make her Cannes debut with “I Am Not a Witch” about an eight-year-old girl accused of witchcraft, while Indonesian director Surya Mouly’s “Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts” is “full of surprises”, Waintrop said.

Lithuanian director Sharunas Bartas also features with his film “Frost” about a couple who volunteer to take humanitarian aid to Ukraine and find themselves lost in the war-torn Donbass region.

Cannes, the world’s top film festival, runs from May 17 to 28.

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