Arts & Entertainment

Spike Lee: Black people still ‘being hunted down like animals’

By Alicia García de Francisco

Cannes, Jul 6 (EFE).- Spike Lee showed up to the Cannes jury press conference reluctant to speak much but delivered biting statements as he denounced that Black people are still “being hunted down like animals” and the lack of morals of certain world leaders he called “gangsters.”

Lee, who will preside over the jury for the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, first participated in the prestigious cinema celebration with the nomination of Do the Right Thing, a feature film that addressed racial tensions and violence in Brooklyn.

Thirty-two years later, he laments that the situation of the Black community has barely changed.

“You would think and hope that 30-something motherfucking years later that Black people would have stopped being hunted down like animals,” he said, in reference to the murders of Eric Garner and George Floyd.

He also accused world leaders of running the world like “gangsters,” mentioning former US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

“That’s the world we live in, and we have to speak out against gangsters like that,” he said, in response to a question concerning attacks against the LGBTI community in Georgia.

Lee was quick to announce he would not take any more questions, redirecting journalists to the rest of the jury panel, composed of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Jessica Hausner, Mati Diop, Myléne Farmer, Kleber Mendonça, Tahar Rahim and Song Kang-Ho.

Gyllenhaal veered the discussion back to cinema, pointing out that movies and politics interweave constantly, sometimes in very emotional ways, which allows the seventh art to reach the minds and hearts of its audience.

Tahar Rahim, one of the lead actors in Netflix’s The Serpent, dismissed controversy fueled by the French press over his wife Leila Bekhti featuring in one of the Palme d’Or contenders, The Restless.

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