All five of the directors nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film issued a joint statement expressing their “unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism” occurring in the U.S. today, “most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.”
‘The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists by as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly “foreign” and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.’
The letter is co-signed by Martin Zanvilet of Denmark, director of Land of Mine, Hannes Holm of Sweden, director of A man called Ove, Asghar Farhadi of Iran, director of The Salesman, Maen Ade of Germany, director of Toni Erdmann, and co-directors Martin Butler and Bentley Dean of Australia, directors of Tanna.
Although he isn’t mentioned by name, the statement sends a powerful message to the President Trump in its direct reference to his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall:
‘Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stands as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.’
All 5 directors nominated for Best Foreign Language Film just issued a remarkable joint statement. pic.twitter.com/54CRZ9wABt
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 27, 2017
‘Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist — for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity — values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.’
Although the biggest night in Hollywood is barely underway, many influential celebrities have already started speaking out against President Donald Trump’s and his divisive policies. Several celebrities, such as Hamilton star Lin Manuel Miranda, donned the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ribbon on the red carpet.
Feature Image via Getty Images.