Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Friends of Europe,
Dear Friends of France,
Welcome and thank you for being with us tonight at the Alliance Française of Suva to
celebrate together the European cinema and the common values of Europe such as
Brotherhood, Respect, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
Tonight, I will talk about the French cinema since a French movie will be screened for
the opening of the festival.
For more than a century, France has influenced the cinema.
At the end of the 19th century, the Lumière brothers invented the cinematograph. The
films were silent and could then be exported easily all around the world.
Images, as opposed to languages, are universal.
French nationals Alice Guy and George Méliès, who are considered as the inventors of
special effects, were the first people to consider the cinema not only as a simple
testimony of life but as an art.
In the last few years to face the competition with Hollywood and Bollywood industries,
French film industry turned to two categories which are not really in the competition:
comedies and art films.
Some French actors rank among the most well known international stars.
I would randomly name : Fernandel, Bourvil, Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Louis de
Funès and, of course, Brigitte Bardot.
At the present time, I would name Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Adjani, Sophie Marceau,
Jean Réno, Marion Cotillard, Audrey Tautou, amongst others.
Quoting all the masterpieces of the French cinema would be tedious.
I shall only quote some of them: Les misérables famous adaptation of Victor Hugo’s
novel, directed by Robert Hossein in 1981 and Claude Lelouch in 1995, Betty Blue by
Beineix, The Big Blue by Luc Besson, Amélie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet or The Horseman
on the Roof by Jean-Paul Rappeneau.
In order to support the French film industry, I preferred to screen only films for which we
received the screening rights in Fiji, though this commitment drastically reduced the
range of films available.
Tonight, to open the European Film Festival, I am really pleased to present Le Couperet
(or The Ax in English) by Costa Gavras.
It is a drama which deals with a sensitive topic: unemployment and competitiveness in
finding a job.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish you an excellent film and a very good evening.