Film director Michael Haneke criticizes #MeToo movement on eve of Berlinale film festival


Film director Michael Haneke criticizes #MeToo movement on eve of Berlinale film festival

Katerina Selin

20 February 2018

The reactionary #MeToo campaign is playing a central role at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival. On its opening day, February 15, festival director Dieter Kosslick announced on the German radio channel Deutschlandfunk, “I believe the entire Berlinale is inspired by this theme.”

But despite the media campaign promoting #MeToo, some artists and cultural figures have gone public to express their criticisms.

A few days before the opening of the Berlinale, the well-known Austrian film director Michael Haneke sharply criticized the #MeToo movement. In an interview with the Austrian daily newspaper Kurier, he said: “What bothers me about the current debate is the totally unreflected meanness, the blind rage that’s not based on facts, and the prejudices that destroy the lives of people whose crime has not been proven in numerous cases. People are simply assassinated in the media, ruining lives and careers.”

Of course, “any form of rape or coercion is punishable,” Haneke continued. “But this hysterical pre-judgment that is spreading now I find absolutely disgusting. And I don’t want to know how many of these accusations, related to incidents 20 or 30 years ago, are primarily statements that have little to do with sexual assault.”

He went on to warn: “Any shit storm that comes out on the forums of serious online news outlets after such ‘revelations’ poisons the social climate. And this makes every argument on this very important subject even more difficult. The malignancy that hits you on the Internet often stifles you. This new Puritanism, imbued with a hatred of men, which comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement,…

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