US director gets political at Marrakech film fest

MARRAKECH: US director James Gray, chairman of this year’s Marrakech film festival, on Monday lambasted his country’s President Donald Trump as an “imbecile.”

“It’s embarrassing, I feel very awkward and I feel I have to apologize every two minutes, because… I’m trying to represent the better part of my country not that one that is represented by an imbecile.”

US actor Robert De Niro, an outspoken critic of Trump, received a tribute award at the festival on Saturday. He used the occasion to launch a fresh tirade against the president and his “America First” mantra.

“Sadly, in my country we are going through a grotesque version of nationalism… marked by greed, xenophobia and selfishness under the banner of ‘America First’,” De Niro said.

Gray, whose films include “Little Odessa” and “The Immigrants,” said De Niro’s latest outburst against Trump was “for me… the moment” of the festival, which opened Friday.

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