French Director Renames Cannes Opening Film Because of Z Symbol

Khazanavicius renamed his “comedy zombie” Z (Comme Z) to Coupé after an appeal from the Ukrainian Institute. According to the director, a few months ago the title was conceived as funny, but now it is no longer so

Michel Hazanavicius

French director Michel Hazanavicius changed the name of his “zombie comedy” after Ukraine's appeal; Z (Comme Z), which will open this year's Cannes Film Festival, according to Variety.

According to Variety, representatives of the Ukrainian Institute— a state institution that represents Ukrainian culture and forms a positive image of the country in the world. In his letter, the managing director of the institution, Vladimir Sheiko, said that the letter Z is a symbol of a Russian special operation and a change in the name of the film could become a certain sign of protest.

As a result, the film will be released internationally under the name Final Cut ;). The new title of the movie in French— Coupé.

Hazanavicius himself told Variety that he renamed the tape “because of the symbolic meaning that the letter Z has taken on.” “The title of my film may have been funny when I finished the film a few months ago, but today it is not so at all and I can't stand it. My film is meant to bring joy <…>. I am happy to change its name and show my full support to the Ukrainian people with this humble gesture,— said the director.

The Latin letters Z and V are applied to Russian military equipment that is participating in a special operation in Ukraine. A number of other countries have proposed restricting their use: Estonia has proposed banning the Z symbol entirely in certain contexts, while Germany has warned of criminal liability for those using the sign in support of hostilities.

The Cannes Film Festival will be held this year from 17 to 28 May. 18 pictures participate in the main competition. Among them— a film by Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov “Tchaikovsky's Wife”, in which Alena Mikhailova (“Chiki”), Odin Land Byron (artist of the “Gogol Center”, known, among other things, for the role of Phil Richards in “Interns”), rapper Oxxxymiron (Miron Fedorov), Yulia Aug and others.

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The film entered the main Cannes program despite the calls of Ukrainian filmmakers to boycott Russian cinema.

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