A controversial French film, “Blue is the Warmest Color,” centered on a lesbian relationship, gained prestige at the 66th Cannes Film Festival after winning the Festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or.
According to the Guardian, the film contained “the lengthiest, most intimate and most graphic lesbian sex scenes in mainstream cinema history.”
Based on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film details the story of two girls in a passionate, life-altering relationship. Kechiche had no intention of alluding to current politics, considering France legalized marriage equality earlier this month.
“I didn’t want to make a militant film that had a message to deliver about homosexuality but of course it can be seen from that angle, and that doesn’t bother me,” Kechiche told the Guardian.
The film itself is nearly three hours long.
The jury at this year’s festival included Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz, and Nicole Kidman.
“The jury, headed by Steven Spielberg, took the unusual move of awarding the Palme not just to Kechiche, but also to the film’s two stars: Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux,” reported the Associated Press. “The three clutched each other as they accepted the award, one of cinema’s greatest honors.”
“Blue is the Warmest Color” wasn’t the only gay film at the festival this year. French Director Alain Guiraudie’s “Stranger at the Lake” and American Director Steven Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra” were both granted considerable acclaim as well.
Strand Releasing will distribute both French films for the American market. HBO originally rejected “Behind the Candelabra” because it was considered “too gay” to be successful in the American market.
Regarding “Blue is the Warmest Color,” the film has been “Praised for its tenderness and intensity, it has been hailed as a landmark in cinematic depictions of lesbian love and female sexuality,” according to the Guardian.
The French Film won over other contenders, including the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which won the Grand Prix award.