More than 500 filmmakers at the Cannes Film festival have signed a letter calling on people to vote in the European elections.
The manifesto warns that “extremism and backwards tendencies” are once again “spreading like a plague.”
It goes on to say that the only way to build an “open Europe offering a space for freedom and peace” is to stand firmly behind what you believe in and vote.
Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Frears, Neil Jordan, Stellan Skarsgard and Jim Sheridan are among the names to have signed the call to action.
French director Céline Sciamma, who is in the running for the Cannes Palme d’Or, launched the manifesto at the film festival yesterday.
The letter reads:
It is true, Europe is hardly perfect.
We sometimes blame it, and rightly so, for lacking soul and emotion; for speaking a language that few of us understand.
We blame it for not doing enough to face the ecological, social and political crises that are threatening to unravel it today, for not doing enough to face the refugee tragedy.
Yet, despite its frailties and its failings, we also perceive humanity and beauty at its core. And we strive to portray it through delicate imagery, in a more accessible language for all the people that make it whole.
Let us remember that Europe united for peace. What started as a union of six countries has now grown to include 28 countries in a unique alliance that is inspiring for all of humanity.
This union was built on the principles of open borders, free circulation, fraternity, solidarity, values that are today under attack on all fronts, including from within Europe itself.
But this union is also one of culture, a truly ambitious purpose for a continent whose innovation and creation have always shone bright.
And a free and democratic Europe is a Europe of creativity, freedom of thought and expression. As we are facing extremism and backwards tendencies, once again spreading like a plague, it is our duty to stand up for these values.
This incredibly fragile balance must be strengthened and improved, when facing those who want to destroy it by dividing, giving up and looking for a way out.
To the question: how do we build a desirable, unifying, open Europe offering a space for freedom and peace?
We must reply by standing firmly for what we believe in, in this battle of ideas.
From May 23rd to 26th, for the European elections, we will therefore vote.
It is our common future that is at stake, if not our future itself.