Cannes Festival-Selected Movie Filmed In Occupied Nagorno-Karabakh Region Causes Protests



Azerbaijan has protested the Cannes Film Festival's selection and screening of a movie filmed in its Nagorno-Karabakh region occupied by Armenia, in which the director illegally portrays the occupied Azerbaijani lands as Armenian.


In a letter to the organizers of the film festival, officials at the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh criticized the film "If the wind falls" (Si le vent tombe) shot by Armenian director Nora Martirosyan for distorting facts and misleading audiences.

The letter explains that the locations in the film, which include Khojaly airport that was chosen for shooting the film, belong to Azerbaijan and are currently under Armenia's occupation, adding that the airport was illegally restored by the government of Yerevan following the occupation, Trend.az reported.

The film was screened as part of the Cannes 2020 Official Selection on June 11. It tells the story of an international auditor Alain, who comes to assess the airport in the occupied Azerbaijani lands in order to make the final decision on the resumption of its activity. Edgar, a boy who settled near the airport, owns a strange business around the airfield. Alain ultimately gets in contact with the child and the "inhabitants" before making a final decision on the venue's reopening.


The Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh in its letter offered insight into the realities that are explicitly distorted in the movie. It explained that there are no native inhabitants in Khojaly now as more than a million indigenous Azerbaijanis were forcibly expelled as a result of the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands, and for nearly 30 years, these people have been unable to return to their homes.


The roots of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict date back to the late 1980s when anti-Azerbaijan sentiments in Armenia led to a full-scale armed invasion by Armenia into Azerbaijani 1991. The bloody war lasted for four years, claiming the lives of 30,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis, while one million were displaced forcibly from their homes amidst occupation and mass ethnic cleansing campaigns by Armenia's forces.

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© Toronto Film Mag I 2020