Last week was the Cannes Film Festival (in case you missed the star-studded red carpet events, and the envy-inducing poolside celeb Instagram posts).
The invitation-only festival is the crème de la crème of the film industry, prepping stars and fans for all that is to come in the movie world.
But behind all the big premieres and the glamor, festival juror and actress Jessica Chastain noticed a glaring error across honored films. She voiced her concerns during a press conference following Sofia Coppola’s win for The Beguiled (only the second woman in history to win the directing award).
“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.”
She also added,
“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 don’t react to the men around them. They have their own point-of-view.”
Chastain’s words had fellow actresses, comedians, and filmmakers applauding. And so were we.
On the jury at Cannes, had the platform to say whatever she wanted, and spoke her truth! https://t.co/xYxvh8Y31p
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) May 30, 2017
Truly badass. https://t.co/UdnRsNPYhS
— Aidy Bryant (@aidybryant) May 30, 2017
We love seeing people use their platform of power to raise awareness of these kinds of issues. As we see in some of these disturbingly inaccurate female film characters, women are often expected to be agreeable and complacent. Chastain used her voice to call out the BS like she saw it. In festivals and award shows when Hollywood usually loves to pat itself on the back, we are rooting for people like Chastain who point out these kinds of flaws that often go unnoticed or at least unmentioned.
Watch her full speech below.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 29, 2017