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Directors defend Mungiu against censorship


The French Association for Film Directors (SRF) – presided over by directors Cédric Klapisch, Pierre Salvadori and Christian Vincent – expressed their outrage on Friday at the decision of French Minister of National Education Xavier Darcos to remove credits recently granted to this year’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [+see also:
film review
interview: Cristian Mungiu
interview: Oleg Mutu
film profile
by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu as part of the National Education Prize.

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The move was clearly effective as the minister withdrew his decision this weekend.

Presented at Cannes since 2003 by a jury composed primarily of teachers and this year presided over by actress Bernadette Laffont and director Marcel Bozonnet, the National Education Prize has been won in recent years by Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, Emir Kusturica’s Life is a Miracle, Marcelo Gomes’ Movies, Aspirin and Vultures and Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

In order to facilitate its study and analysis, 1500 copies of the winning film – singled out for its artistic qualities and educational interest – are created on an educational DVD and distributed in French schools.

According to the SRF, the minister’s decision to ban the manufacture and distribution of the DVD of 4 Months… was driven by "pressure from the anti-abortion lobby". Describing this measure as "true censorship against the film", the directors stated that, on the contrary, Mungiu’s feature was useful and important in that a painful subject such as abortion, which conceals so much suffering, could become a topic for educational debates in schools.

Bac Films and Why Not Productions will release 4 Months… (see article) on August 29 in French cinemas.

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(Translated from French)

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