Italian actress Asia Argento gestures on stage during the closing ceremony of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: VALERY HACHE / AFP
“Shoplifters”, a heartwrenching family tale by Japanese veteran director Hirokazu Kore-eda, may have won the Palme d'Or top prize at the Cannes film festival on Saturday, but the most stunning moment of the night came when Argento, who has said she was raped by Weinstein at Cannes in 1997, took the microphone and vowed to fight for justice for other victims.
“This festival was his hunting ground,” said Argento, who says she was 21 when Weinstein attacked her in his hotel room.
“Even tonight sitting among you there are those who still have to be held accountable for their conduct against women. We know who you are and we are not going to allow you to get away with it any longer,” she said to cheers from the audience.
Minutes before the actress took the stage police in Paris said they had opened a criminal probe against one of France's best-known directors, “The Fifth Element” maker Luc Besson, for allegedly raping an actress.
The #MeToo movement permeated this year's awards. Hollywood stars including Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Helen Mirren and Salma Hayek and directors Ava DuVernay and Patty Jenkins joined a red-carpet protest to demand equal opportunities for women and a “safe workplace”. Two days later, festival organisers signed a pledge to encourage more diversity in its selection by 2020.