“Pain and Glory” director Pedro Almodovar, “The Nun” actor Isabelle Huppert and “Call Me by Your Name” filmmaker Luca Guadagnino are among a galaxy of 70 film, television, literature and eminent personalities from other walks of life who have signed an open letter expressing “outrage” over the repression of the LGBT+ community in Poland.
Addressed to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the letter states: “We, the undersigned, express our outrage at repressions directed against the LGBT+ community in Poland. We speak out in solidarity with activists and their allies, who are being detained, brutalized, and intimidated. We voice our grave concern about the future of democracy in Poland, a country with an admirable history of resistance to totalitarianism and struggle for freedom.”
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Other signees include Polish filmmaker Paweł Pawlikowski, whose “Ida” won an Oscar, “The Favourite” director Yorgos Lanthimos, “Vera Drake” director Mike Leigh, and actors Ed Harris and James Norton.
After Polish president Andrzej Duda was reelected for a second term earlier this month, several opposition members showed up at the swearing in ceremony wearing Pride colors. During his election campaign, Duda had said that members of the LGBT+ community “are not people, it’s an ideology.” Some Polish towns have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones.”
The letter goes on to provide details of activists who were arrested and detained Aug. 7 for participating in a gathering, and requests the Polish government to control growing homophobic aggression in the country.
“We call on the Polish government to stop targeting sexual minorities, to stop supporting organizations that spread homophobia, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for unlawful and violent arrests of Aug. 7, 2020,” the letter continues.
“We call on the European Commission to take immediate steps to defend core European values – equality, non-discrimination, respect for minorities – which are being blatantly violated in Poland. LGBT+ rights are human rights and must be defended as such,” the letter concludes.
The letter was started by Polish Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, alongside filmmaker Agnieszka Holland and sociologist Agnieszka Graff.
Naja Marie Aidt, writer, Danish language
Pedro Almodóvar, film director, Spain
Jakuta Alikavazovic, writer, France
Margaret Atwood, writer, Canada
Paul Auster, writer, U.S.
John Banville, writer, Ireland
Sebastian Barry, writer, Ireland
Judith Butler, philosopher, U.S.
Sophie Calle, writer and artist, France
John Maxwell Coetzee, writer, South Africa
Isabel Coixet, director, Spain
Stephen Daldry, director, U.K.
Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, writer, France
Lucas Dhont, director, Belgium
Marion Döring, director of European Film Academy
Cynthia Enloe, political scientist, U.S.
Anne Enright, writer, Ireland
Ildiko Enyedi, director, Hungary
Richard Flanagan, writer, Australia
Barbara Frey, theater and opera director, Switzerland/Austria
Timothy Garton Ash, historian, U.K.
Agnieszka Graff, writer, Poland
Luca Guadagnino, director, Italy
Miron Hakenbeck, dramaturg, Germany
Ed Harris, actor, director, U.S.
Aleksander Hemon, writer, Bosnia/U.S.
Agnieszka Holland, director, Poland
Siri Hustvedt, writer, U.S.
Isabelle Huppert, actress, France
Aki Kaurismäki, director, Finland
Padraic Kenney, historian, U.S.
Jan Komasa, director, Poland
Ivan Krastev, political scientist, Bulgaria
Jan Kubik, political scientist, U.K.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreographer, Belgium
Yorgos Lanthimos, director, Greece
Andrzej Leder, philosopher, Poland
Jacek Leociak, historian, Poland
Jonathan Littell, writer, France
Mike Leigh, director, U.K.
Deborah Levi, writer, U.K.
Edouard Louis, writer, France
Sergei Loznitsa, director, Germany/Ukraine
Valeria Luiselli, writer, U.S.
Dorota Masłowska, writer, Poland
Hisham Matar, writer, U.S.
Ulrich Matthes, actor, Germany
Ian McEwan, writer, U.K.
Lina Meruane, writer, Chile
Teona Mitevska, director, North Macedonia
Chantal Mouffe, philosopher, Belgium
James Norton, actor, U.K.
Claus Offe, sociologist, Germany
Paweł Pawlikowski, director, Poland
Richard Powers, writer, U.S.
Axel Ranisch, filmmaker and opera director, Germany
Keith Ridgway, writer, Ireland
Philippe Sands, lawyer and writer, U.K.
Volker Schlöndorff, director, Germany
Marci Shore, historian, U.S.
Stellan Skarsgaard, actor, Sweden
Leila Slimani, writer, France
Timothy Snyder, historian, U.S.
Johanna ter Steege, actress, the Netherlands
Dariusz Stola, historian, Poland
Małgorzata Szczęśniak, stage designer, Poland
Małgorzata Szumowska, director, Poland
Colm Toibin, writer, Ireland
Olga Tokarczuk, writer, Poland
Alia Trabucco Zerán, writer, Chile
Fien Troch, director, Belgium
Jan Vandenhouwe, artistic director and opera dramaturg, Belgium
Krzysztof Warlikowski, theater director, Poland/France
Beau Willimon, playwright, screenwriter, U.S.
Adam Zagajewski, poet, Poland
Slavoj Žižek, philosopher, Slovenia
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