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Palme d'Or winner slams French government in Cannes speech

AFP
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Palme d'Or winner slams French government in Cannes speech
French film director Justine Triet speaks on stage after she won the Palme d'Or for the film "Anatomie d'une Chute". Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP.

As she accepted the Palme d'Or in Cannes on Saturday, French director Justine Triet slammed the government of President Emmanuel Macron over its "shocking" suppression of pension protests.

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As she accepted the Palme d'Or in Cannes on Saturday, French director Justine Triet slammed the government of President Emmanuel Macron over its "shocking" suppression of pension protests.

"The country suffered from historic protests over the reform of the pension system. These protests were denied... repressed in a shocking way," she said in her speech, as she won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival for courtroom drama "Anatomy of a Fall".

Macron has sparked the biggest demonstrations in a generation over reforms to the pension system, which were rammed through parliament without a vote using a special constitutional measure.

The reforms include raising the retirement age to 64 from 62.

Addressing the audience of Hollywood and international film stars, directors, and other industry professionals, Triet also criticised the government's cultural policies.

"The commercialisation of culture that this neoliberal government supports is in the process of breaking France's cultural exception, without which I wouldn't be here today," she said.

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Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak hit back that she was "gobsmacked" by Triet's "unfair" comments at one of France's most prominent events.

"This film would not have seen the light of day without our French model of financing cinema, which allows a diversity that is unique in the world. Let's not forget it," she wrote on Twitter.

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