The Cannes debut of “Three Thousand Years of Longing” was never going to be a dull affair.
George Miller’s long-gestating follow-up to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which also premiered out of competition at Cannes, is one of the festival’s most anticipated titles. The dialogue-driven fantasy marks a sharp divergence from the action-heavy “Fury Road,” and many cinephiles were eager to see the Australian director surprise audiences again. But few expected the shocking surprises to begin on the red carpet.
As the film’s stars, which include Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba, arrived at the premiere, an incident occurred on the red carpet. An unidentified woman, who appeared to be wearing a shirt that said “SCUM” on the back, burst onto the scene and began screaming at the top of her lungs. The activist appeared to be protesting sexual violence against and suppression of women, as SCUM is a French activist group based on the radical feminist manifesto of Valerie Solanas, Andy Warhol’s attempted assassin.
The woman removed all of her clothing and collapsed to her knees before security guards promptly removed her from the premiere. She appeared to be wearing yellow and blue body paint in the colors of the Ukrainian flag with, according to one observer, the words “stop raping us” written across her abdomen.
The unexpected outburst is surprising given the security lining the red carpet and multiple check-ins required for access.
Kyle Buchanan of The New York Times tweeted that “the woman in front of me stripped off all her clothes (covered in body paint) and fell to her knees screaming in front of photographers. Cannes authorities rushed over, covered her in a coat, & blocked my camera from filming.” His tweet included a few seconds of video from the incident before his camera was covered.
IndieWire has reached out to the Cannes Film Festival for comment.
“Three Thousand Years of Longing” stars Tilda Swinton as a scholar on a trip to Istanbul who discovers a Djinn, played by Idris Elba, who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. George Miller directed the film, working from a script he co-wrote with Augusta Gore. The film is based on the short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt.
“Three Thousand Years of Longing” is set to be released in theaters August 31.
On the Cannes red carpet for George Miller’s new movie, the woman in front of me stripped off all her clothes (covered in body paint) and fell to her knees screaming in front of photographers. Cannes authorities rushed over, covered her in a coat, & blocked my camera from filming pic.twitter.com/JFdWlwVMEw
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 20, 2022
Someone just tried to crash the carpet for the premiere of George Millers’ ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing.’ #Cannes2022 pic.twitter.com/7OPyhyerDG
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) May 20, 2022
a protester just walked onto the red carpet #Cannes2022 pic.twitter.com/daEwsLFmiT
— bethany (@fiImgal) May 20, 2022