CANNES FESTIVAL – A day without a strike …

Last Updated: November 18, 2014By

…is probably not a day spent in France.

The Cannes Festival was off to a great start. The sun was shining, dispelling any fears of the same moonsoon-like conditions witnessed in years past, and the glam-o-meter pointed upward, what with the statuesque Nicole Kidman playing Grace Kelly in “Grace of Monaco” which opened today.

Sure, there was plenty of controversy: Monaco’s royal family blacklisted director Olivier Dahan, accusing the “La Mome” director of taking too much creative license with “Grace of Monaco.” And then there’s the public spat between Dahan and Harvey Weinstein, too. Everybody wants a piece of Dahan, apparently (perhaps Grace was one of those sacred topics which had better been left alone, after all).

But beyond Le Rocher and Harvey Weinstein more controversy kept piling up. Around 2pm on festival opening day a contingent of local taxis started amassing at the gates of Nice airport, which is the airport for Cannes’ festival-goers (Cannes is about thirty minutes away) and began blocking the way, in effect choking all outgoing traffic.

Time went by, and some more time went by. We heard reports of an increasing number of journalists and producers stuck at Nice airport because the shuttle buses provided by the Cannes Festival to ferry people from the airport to Cannes were not moving, due to the road barrages.

Even on a day of in which the nations of the world meet in the name of cinema, one is confronted by this curious French spectacle of striking.

As more festival-goers arrived, people started for the train station, which is about a twenty minute-walk from the airport. Their alternative: taking the train to Cannes.

This is unfortunately one of the disadvantages of holding such an eminent festival in France: this dubious habit that the country’s working class has in holding that work is sacred (it is not), that it is an entitlement (it isn’t, either) and that because of that self-assigned entitlement life stars and stops with them.

More often than not the strikers do not get what they came to strike for (though sometimes they do get their way) but they have manage to cause embarrassment and make a mockery of the French, ie., themselves. All the credit goes to Cannes’ festival-goers for valiantly pushing forward and finding a way to the Croisette.

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