As the sleepy town on the French Riviera came to life this past week with actors, directors, critics and audiences thronging to the Cannes Film Festival to catch the screenings of myriad films from across the globe, veterans like Harrison Ford and Martin Scorsese took to the spotlight to awe them with their craft.
Amidst the glitz and glamour, the Oscar-winning star of Everything Everywhere All At Once took the opportunity to reflect on the changes in the industry with respect to female artists and performers. Upon being honoured with Kering’s Women in Motion Award, she remarked, “I have watched the currents throughout my entire career, and I am watching the tides turn now.”
“For too long we as women have been left out of rooms and conversations. We have been told the door is closed to us,” she said. “Well, Virginia Woolf once said, ‘there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.’ Our ideas are endless. Our passion is infinite. And we have come to knock that door down.”
The veteran actor won the award in front of guests like Leonardo DiCaprio, Isabelle Hupert, Rebel Wilson, Alfonso Cuaron, Salma Hayek, jury president Ruben Östlund, jury members Paul Dano and Brie Larson, President of the Festival de Cannes Iris Knobloch, and Director of the Festival de Cannes Thierry Frémaux.
Yeoh took the opportunity to recollect some of her iconic characters “who are strong, capable and unafraid to stand up for themselves. They have taught me so many lessons about how I would like to move through the world: with integrity, with perseverance and above all with fierce compassion,” she said.
She continued, “There is still work to do. We have a long way to go before we can say we are on equal footing.”
“So what I would like to say is keep fighting, keep pushing, keep telling your stories. Your voices are important and your vision is vital,” Michelle concluded.