Why “Titane” Winning the Palme d’Or Matters

Zsófia Vera
7 min readJul 22, 2021

Celebrating the diversity of creative voices

Julia Ducourneau, director of “Titane” holding her Palme d’Or at the closing ceremony of the 74th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday 17 July 2021

This year, the Cannes Film Festival held its 74th edition in early July rather than the customary mild month of May—when the Côte d’Azur is usually fizzing with the alluring promise of spring, and an array of fabulous film stars come and grace the Croisette with their newest projects.

Spike Lee, after fourteen months’ wait, headed the presidency of this year’s edition, alongside a jury composed of brilliant creative folk like actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tahar Rahim.

And frankly … I didn’t watch any of it.

None of the press conferences, or the photocalls that I’m otherwise so keen on following each year. None of the fresh-off-the press reviews of the films in competition.

This year, Cannes happened in an oblivious haze.

Perhaps it was the scattered way in which the country reopened after lockdown, or maybe it was simply a result of a change in priorities after a year in which the pandemic profoundly disrupted all our lives. Regardless, checking out the glitz and glamour of the Croisette was not at the top of my list.

That is, until Titane was screened on Tuesday 13th July, in the middle of the festival.

I had seen the trailer for the film a few days prior, completely unaware that, five years after Grave (English title : Raw), writer and director Julia Ducourneau had a new film in the works. The trailer had no dialogue, only intense visual goodness which you can check out for yourself here :

The echo from the critics at Cannes was that the film jolted a sleepy edition of the festival awake. It made people sit up and pay attention.

The film was released the following day in France and I rushed to watch it. I was absolutely mesmerised. It is a beautifully told story that touches on the fluidity of gender, the universality of true love and kinship. The narrative is also brilliantly…

Zsófia Vera

I bleed creativity. Writing about : film, music, healing, love, creative processes, obsession and identity. hello@zsofiavera.com