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Emir Kusturica named Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur

the 14.05.2011 at 12:00 AM - Updated on 17.05.2011 at 10:11 AM

Emir Kusturica © AFP
Emir Kusturica © AFP

Serbian film-maker Emir Kusturica was today invested with the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of the Légion d’honneur at the Café des Palmes.

In a speech given for the occasion, Frédéric Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, saluted the admirer of Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, Andreï Tarkovski, Milos Forman and Jean Renoir, and acknowledged his quest for a cinema that blends entertainment and philosophy. "The work of Emir Kusturica can be consumed without moderation. It crisscrosses, in an express train of course, the heart of a Europe marked by wounds, laughter and pride."

Emir Kusturica is one of the rare directors to have received the Palme d’or twice, first in 1985 for When Father Was Away on Business and ten years later for Underground. Head of the Feature Film Jury at the 58th Festival, he is this year President of Un Certain Regard.

The director spoke in French to thank the Festival for being the only world class forum that allowed small countries to acquire international visibility, and for its defence of cultural diversity. He went on to stress the importance of the award of such an honour for a country like Serbia .


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