• Saturday, Aug 08, 2020
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Huppert spurs on aspiring actors at Myanmar film fest

  • Published at 08:50 pm November 17th, 2019
French actress Isabelle Huppert
French actor Isabelle Huppert AFP

The Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee took to the red carpet at Friday's opening night held at the city's recently-restored and oldest cinema

Award-winning French actor Isabelle Huppert urged Myanmar women wanting to make it in the world of cinema to go for it, as she added star power to Yangon's Memory! film festival.

The Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee took to the red carpet at Friday's opening night held at the city's recently-restored and oldest cinema.

Bats wheeled round the downtown, colonial-era theatre as Huppert's 1995 movie La Ceremonie kicked off the 10-day event.

Huppert, whose more than 120 films include Elle and The Piano Teacher, said she was unfazed when a power cut - a common occurrence in the city - briefly interrupted the movie.

"They warned me these things might happen," she told AFP in an exclusive interview Saturday.

The actor, who has eight of her films showing at the festival, described how all her movies speak about the "feminine condition" and what it means to be a woman fighting to survive.

"I would say I've always been a feminist without knowing it," she said, urging Myanmar women wanting to get into cinema to go ahead and believe in themselves.

"You have to overcome so many obstacles in life that you mustn't create them yourself."

This is the seventh edition of the Memor! film festival, which this year boasts some 70 films in its bid to bring worldwide and regional cinema to Myanmar's public.

As the country gears up to celebrate a century of film-making next year, the event also features screenings of painstakingly-restored Myanmar classics.

Huppert preferred not to dwell on the controversy shaking the French film industry over fresh allegations of abuse against French-Polish director Roman Polanski - but said she thinks people should not boycott his latest film.

A French photographer became the latest woman to accuse the 86-year-old of rape days before his award-winning movie, An Officer and a Spy, opened in French cinemas.

Polanski has fiercely denied the accusations and has threatened to sue.

Asked what France's film industry could do to treat women better, Huppert said it should start by giving them equal wages.

"It's the same in every field. Women have always suffered discrimination."

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