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NETFLIX ET CHILL

Why France is so important to Netflix’s growth

French Culture Minister Franck Riester, Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo attend the inauguration of Netflix new offices in Paris in January
Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
French Culture Minister Franck Riester, Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo attend the inauguration of Netflix new offices in Paris in January.
Published

This year’s Cannes Film Festival in May was supposed to have seen the return of Netflix to the Croissette—the glittering stretch along the French Riviera where the prestigious celebration has been held for 73 years.

If the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t forced the world into an unwanted intermission, the festival would have seen the debut of Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, the director’s first feature film for the streaming giant. Starring Chadwick Boseman, the film tracks a group of African-American veterans of the Vietnam War, who travel back to the country to confront their past.

The film will now premiere online in June. But a screening at Cannes would have marked an overture of sorts in the simmering conflict between Netflix and the French cinema institution.

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