5 Films That Created Controversies After Their Premiere At Cannes

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La Dolce Vita

Federico Fellini’s film about the exploits of a journalist in Rome left the Catholic right fuming, particularly because of the opening sequence in which a helicopter carries a statue of Christ over Rome, to the amusement of the spectators below. 

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese's film was screened at Cannes in 1976. Jury president Tennessee Williams criticised the film for its portrayal of violence. However, the jury ended up awarding the film the Palme d’Or. However, Scorsese, having heard how much Williams disliked Taxi Driver, skipped the awards ceremony and came back home.


David Cronenberg’s film revolving around individuals who get turned on by car accidents was heavily criticised by the press. The Daily Mail had called it “the point at which a liberal society must draw the line.” Jury president Francis Ford Coppola allegedly detested the film too. While the film didn't win the Palme d’Or, the jury created a Special Jury Award to honour the filmmaker.


Gaspar Noé’s film starring Vincent Cassel and Monica Belluci follows a man's attempts to exact revenge on the man who raped his girlfriend. It is said that many audience members walked out of the screening, and some fainted too. The film was criticised for its extremely graphic, drawn-out depiction of sexual abuse.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore’s nonfiction film is a critique of the Bush administration. The documentary went on to win the Palme d’Or. While the film was appreciated at the festival, it was the subject of scrutiny for the rest of the year.

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