Although Québécois filmmaker and actor Xavier Dolan may be across the Atlantic at the Cannes Film Festival, the government crackdown on civil liberties taking place in his home province doesn’t seem to be out of mind.
As Dolan appeared on Cannes’ red carpet for the premiere of his new film, Laurence Anyways, his tux was adorned with the simple red square that symbolizes the three month long student strike taking place in Québec. And he wasn’t alone. Others who worked on the film — including actors Nathalie Baye, Melvil Poupaud and Suzanne Clement, along with producer Lyse Lafontaine — also donned the swatch of crimson fabric.
This subtle, international statement happened on the same day the Québec’s Liberal government enacted a law severely curtailing civil rights in the province, including effectively banning political demonstrations in downtown Montreal, and imposing fines of up to $35,000 on individuals for taking part in a protest, or simply encouraging others to do so.