Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on the opening night of the Venice International Film Festival, delivering a message in which he described the war in Ukraine as a 189-day-long horror film.
The Ukrainian president once again urged the world of cinema not to be “silent”, or become “fatigued” with news about the ongoing conflict.
The 79th international film festival kicked off on Wednesday night and runs until September 10.
In his pre-recorded and subtitled speech Zelensky told viewers that the story of Ukraine was one “beyond the limits of humaneness and common sense”.
“It is a drama based on real-life events,” he said.
“A tragedy to the score… of explosions, shots and air raid alert wails.
“A horror, which is not 120 minutes but 189 days’ long. 189 days of war going on in Ukraine.”
He added that Russia wanted the world to become “fatigued” with the war.
#BiennaleCinema2022 #Venezia79 #CerimoniaDiApertura @ZelenskyyUa: “Personalità della cultura, registi, produttori, attori e moltissimi altri dei vari Paesi del mondo e appartenenti alla stessa famiglia del cinema: la vostra opinione è importante, la vostra parola è forte!” pic.twitter.com/WeQS75H8oX
— La Biennale di Venezia (@la_Biennale) August 31, 2022
“The design of theirs should never turn into reality.”
Addressing the attendees directly he continued: “Personalities of culture, film directors, producers and actors, playwrights, cameramen, composers, artistic directors, set designers, critics… your opinion is important.
“Your voice matters. Your word is strong.
“The least you can do, rather, should not do, is not to remain silent, not to be afraid, not to turn your back on… the war in Ukraine.”
Zelensky’s message included a list of names of children and teenagers killed so far in the war, which rolled silently on a black screen.
The Ukrainian president previously delivered a similar message at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival in May.
In Cannes his message was translated live into French and given a standing ovation.