The beautiful speech given by Julia Ducournau to present the Lumière Prize to the New Zealand filmmaker reminds us that women were really at the heart of this 2021 edition of the heritage festival.
After receiving the Palme d’Or this summer for his film Titanium, Julia Ducournau presented the Lumière 2021 prize last night to Jane Campion, the first woman to have held the supreme trophy in her hands. The summit of a moving ceremony during which many personalities came to testify to the importance of Campion in their lives, Ducournau’s speech overwhelmed the room with emotion. The symbol was in itself very strong. In July, for the second time in the 74-year existence of the Cannes Film Festival, a woman won the Palme d’Or. Julia Ducournau already mentioned in her speech of thanks, the one who had preceded her. “I thought a lot tonight about Jane Campion, I wondered a lot what she had felt at that time, being the first. And I have to say that as a second what carries me is that now I feel like I am part of a moving movement. I am the second, so there will be a third, a fourth … ”
After the Tanaka retrospective, the presentation of two first feature films directed by two Hollywood actresses (The Lost Daughter by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Chiaroscuro by Rebecca Hall), this Lumière award and this speech brought a breath of feminism to Lyon.
Here is the full speech of the director of Titane:
“We have never met, yet for a few months now she has accompanied me everywhere. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought of her. It seems that life has drawn a line between us; and this trait touches me in a very intimate place. When I was on stage in July, the thought of her helped me not to buckle under the wave of emotion that washed over me. And I asked myself several times: and what did she feel? Was she shaking too? Did she also have a dry mouth? And did she manage to figure out what was really going on? I tried to put myself in her place: the immense pride of the filmmaker and also the loneliness of the first woman. But 28 years later, 28 years, thanks to her, and thinking of her, I didn’t have to feel this loneliness on stage, but I even had the luxury of being able to think of all those who will succeed me. And in fact I realized that long before that scene, long before this year, long before I became a filmmaker, long before I became a woman, she had saved me many times, in every one of her films in fact, saved me. of loneliness. Through Sweetie, Janet, Ada and Flora, Isabel and Serena, Frannie, Ruth, Fanny, Robin and Rose, she showed me wild or resilient strength, disobedience, irreverence, mistrust, violence, solidarity , independence, fragility, the unbridled romanticism of raw desires, and freedom. Because yes, she showed me that to become a woman is to fight to be free and to stay that way. Through her staging, ample and precise at the same time, which always relates the fury of our condition to the untamed indifference of nature, she showed me my humanity in what it has most vulnerable and endearing. She showed me the sacred in what I have most profane, the pathos and the pity of my existence, but also its beauty and its grace. She has therefore been with me and so many others for years for so many different reasons and for saving us from loneliness thanks to the tender, lucid and uncompromising love she has for us. So it is with love and great emotion that I award the Lumière Award this evening to a huge filmmaker, Jane Campion! “