This article originally appeared in
May 17, 2006
Silent night for 'Da Vinci'
By ERIC J. LYMAN
CANNES --While a tornado of controversy has swirled around "The Da Vinci
Code" in nearly every corner of the globe, it has not yet touched down in
Cannes, where the movie has its world premiere tonight.
At the Festival de Cannes, no protesters were visible in the hours leading up
to Tuesday night's press screening of the film, the first time it was shown to
the public in any context.
Calls to the Archdiocese of Nice, which includes Cannes, revealed only that
it was hosting a discussion forum about the film after a Thursday night
"We are trying to encourage discussion rather than blind opposition," an
aide to Nice Bishop Louis Albert Joseph Roger Sankale said.
But there has been no shortage of opposition to the film elsewhere,
including a protest march in India, an unsuccessful attempt to ban the film in
the Philippines and denunciations of "Da Vinci" from religious leaders in the
U.S., Greece, Russia and Romania.
Don Feder, president of a U.S. group called Jews Against Anti-Christian
Defamation, called the film "a clear attack on all religions."
The film's star, Tom Hanks, and director Ron Howard have reminded the
film's detractors that it is a work of fiction.
"It's not meant to offend, it's not theology," Howard said. "If anyone thinks the
story is going to be upsetting, they shouldn't see it."