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Lesbian love story wins top prize at Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France -- The 2013 Cannes Film Festival came to a close on Sunday evening. Earlier in the day in Paris, an estimated 150,000 bigots took to the streets to protest the legalization of gay marriage a few days ago in France. Somewhat ironically, in the evening in Cannes, to lengthy and enthusiastic applause, the Palme d’Or went to writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour-long lesbian love story "Blue Is the Warmest Color / La Vie d’Adèle."

Kechiche’s film offers a portrayal of the relationship between a 15-year-old high-school student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and an Older Woman, Emma (twenty-something Léa Seydoux). Prior to the closing ceremony, it had already taken home the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI Prize for a film in the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Competition.

"Blue is the Warmest Color" caused quite a stir among certain sensitive Cannes attendees. Curiously, not so much because of the sexual / romantic relationship between an underage adolescent and a woman in her 20s — the Older Woman would be a district attorney’s dream in a number of countries — but because Kechiche doesn’t refrain from graphic depictions of lesbian sex. You’d think we’re in 1913 — but no, as those anti-gay marriage demonstrations in Paris make clear. This is very much 2013.

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