Cannes Film Festival: Behind the Candelabra and Omar

BBC Culture meets Matt Damon and Michael Douglas, stars of Behind the Candelabra, and discusses Palestinian film Omar with Israeli and Arab critics.

In the US, Stephen Soderbergh’s new film will be broadcast on HBO television rather than in cinemas: major studios feared the film was ‘too gay’ for commercial success. In Cannes, the film has screened In Competition with a worldwide release to follow.

The Palestinian love story Omar is described by its director Hany Abu-Assad as “a version of Romeo and Juliet under occupation,” and has screened in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard series.  Abu-Assad divided audiences in 2005 with his breakthrough film about suicide bombers, Paradise Now – and his new movie has put Cannes critics at odds. BBC Culture meets the filmmaker and hears contrasting views from the Israeli Broadcasting Authority’s Gidéon Kouts and Youssef Cherif of Egypt’s Kalam El Nas.

BBC Culture features regular video reports from Cannes throughout the festival.

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