Cannes Film Fest 2019: Jarmusch Says Dead Don’t Die Is Not Political

The Dead Don’t Die director Jim Jarmusch at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday insisted that the film, in which Steve Buscemi’s character wears a “Make America White Again” hat, is not political.

The Cannes Grand Prize winner said at the press conference for the Cannes opening film that reading the morning-after reactions from Tuesday night’s world premiere, the political parallels “honestly hadn’t quite occurred” to him while making the movie. Instead, he insisted the film is more a reaction to the environmental peril the planet is in.

He addressed the reactions at the morning press event along with stars Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton and Chloe Sevigny.

“Watching nature decline at unprecedented rates for me is terrifying and concerning, and what concerns me is the apathy and failure to address something that threatens all living species,” he said, and went further to say he was frustrated with the characterization of the film.

“Politics is not of interest to me,” he said, though stressing that the human impact on the planet is putting future generations in danger. “This is not a political issue, and I don’t understand how it can even be considered such. Politics doesn’t seem to save anything. Politics is a kind of distraction.”

He holds that the film is meant to be positive and optimistic and supports teenagers and young political activists who are drawing attention to these issues.