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Director Costa-Gavras: European Cinema Could Not Survive Without State Protection

by Steve Pond.

Filmmaking could not exist in Europe without the support of governments, veteran director Costa-Gavras told an audience at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Monday night.

At the same time, the Greek director of such politically-charged films as “Missing” and the Oscar-winning “Z,” said that he supports French exclusionary laws that limit the amount of American television that can be shown on the air.

“If the state doesn’t help, cinema cannot survive in Europe,” the 80-year-old director said in a conversation with “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” screenwriter Mark Boal prior to a screening of his new film “Capital.”

When Boal asked Costa-Gavras’ about the seeming contradiction of his support for the French regulations and his earlier comment during the session that “the state is an enemy,” the director shrugged it off. He traced the need to restrict American content to the World War II era, when the French film industry was crippled by the Nazi occupation.

“When France was liberated, hundreds of American movies came to France and took over,” he said.

Given how strong American cultural influence is today, he supports the right of European governments to promote homegrown art and control imported culture.

Read the rest of this article from The Wrap.

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