At election time, voters and politicians focus on mundane issues like jobs, schools and hospitals. Understandable, of course, but electors and their parliamentarians should also talk about films. The EU funds them with our money, after all, and we, the people, could be waltzing off with a few Oscars on Sunday night.
In fact, seven films funded by the EU’s MEDIA support programme have been nominated in thirteen categories for this year’s Academy Awards. Slumdog Millionaire is up for Best Film and Best Director categories and the others are: Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (Germany), Entre les murs (France), Waltz with Bashir (Israel/France/Germany), Happy Go Lucky (UK), The Duchess (UK/France/Italy) and Man on Wire (UK/US).
All that comes to €3,028,000. Which is a lot of money, especially when the jobless lines are growing longer by the day. But we don’t live on bread alone, do we? And just as much as our cultural elite like to spit out “Hollywood” whenever they wish to signal how much they despise all things American, they would be the very ones who’d complain most bitterly about “provincialism if our Greek or Danish parliamentarians in the run-up to the June elections said that three million might be better spent on schools or hospitals. Sometimes in life, you can’t win. But we might win on Sunday night. Just hope those statuettes will be put on display in Brussels so that we can all see them. We helped pay for them.