“Culture and cinema can be outside politics. But not when it is a policy of aggression. Not when it is a policy of mass crimes, murders, terror, the desire to destroy other countries and other peoples. When it is a policy of total war. That is, the politics of today’s Russia.
Under such circumstances and at such times, art cannot be neutral. Cannot be “out”.” This said the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the participants and guests of the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival.
“The Berlinale made its choice. And confirmed the truth of my statement. Professing the principles of openness, equality, dialogue without borders and the cinema from all over the world, the Berlinale made a choice. Institutions and persons supporting the Kremlin and films made with Russia’s support are not admitted to this year’s festival. We appreciate it and are grateful for it. This is really important.
This is not a formality. This is justice. We are grateful for Ukraine’s support, attention to Ukraine, solidarity with Ukraine.
Proof of this is the official badge for participants and guests of the Berlinale. The Golden Bear, which this year has become blue and yellow. These are the colors of Ukraine. The colors of our flag,” continued Zelenskyy, who added, “In 1951, the first Berlin Film Festival took place. You all know the slogan and purpose of the first Berlinale. This is the Showcase of the free world.
Today, Ukraine is the Fortress of the free world. A fortress that has stood for almost a year. A fortress that protects itself, Europe and the world. A fortress that cannot fall. A fortress that will definitely stand. And will win.”