entertainment
Thursday May 26 2022
By
Web Desk

Away from festival spotlight, Ukrainian rebuilds life in Cannes

By
Web Desk
Away from festival spotlight, Ukrainian rebuilds life in Cannes

When Lesia Bilotserkovets and her family fled Kyiv by car at the start of the war in Ukraine, her father balked at the size of her suitcase, full of winter clothing.

The 24-year-old didn't know she would end up in Cannes, on the French Riviera.

I said 'Papa, I don't know where I'm going, and I don't know for how long,' said Bilotserkovets.

Three months later, she is settling into a new job at a hotel in Cannes, which this month rolled out the red carpet to celebrities for its annual film festival.

A French family she had helped in Ukraine as an interpreter offered her a place to stay.

The Ukraine war has loomed large over the festival - official Russian delegations were banned, the opening ceremony featured a speech from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the place of cultural boycotts has been a recurring theme.

For Bilotserkovets, the glamour of the festival is a world apart from what she left.

It's as if I'm in a parallel universe, she said. She added that she refrains from posting about her life in France on social media out of respect for others in difficult situations...Reuters