Jessica Chastain Call Cannes Films Representation of Women ‘Disturbing’

A video of Jessica Chastain chastising Cannes films for their onscreen representation of women went viral yesterday. The video was taken by filmmaker Ava DuVernay during a press conference held Sunday after the annual awards were handed out. 

Chastain’s comments came after her jury awarded Sofia Coppola the Best Director award for her film The Beguiling. Coppola of course became only the second woman to ever win that award, and first since 1961. During the press conference Chastain said “I do believe that if you have female storytelling you also have more authentic female characters. This is the first time I’ve watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies. And the one thing I really took away from this experience is how the world views women from the female characters that I saw represented. It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest.”

While not all of the films contributed to her opinion, she was still surprised by what she had seen. She also has hope for the future. “I do hope that when we include more female storytellers, we will have more of the women that I recognize in my day-to-day life. Ones that are proactive, have their own agencies, don’t just react to the men around them. They have their own point of view.”

This isn’t the first time Chastain has spoken out about the issue. The 40-year-old actress wrote an essay for The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 while filming The Zookeeper’s Wife, stating then that she wanted to see more women behind the camera. She’s also been one of the driving forces behind Freckle Films, a productions company that aim to help promote women in film. 

 

Photo Courtesy of: GabboT on Wikipedia

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