Tilda Swinton Makes Political Statement at Venice Film Festival: ‘It’s My Honor to Wear Half of the Ukrainian Flag’

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The subject of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the topics of discussion at the Venice Film Festival, bubbled to the surface again on Tuesday with Tilda Swinton making a statement with her hair dyed yellow.

“It’s my honor to wear half of the Ukrainian flag,” Swinton said at the press conference for Joanna Hogg’s “The Eternal Daughter,” when complimented on her look by a journalist. Swinton expressed that it was an honor later during the conference as well. The star wore a light blue top, which complements the dark blue of the Ukraine flag.

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Shot during lockdown, “The Eternal Daughter” follows an artist and her elderly mother who confront long-buried secrets when they return to a former family home, now a hotel haunted by its mysterious past. Swinton plays both mother and daughter. The names of the mother and daughter in the film are Rosalind and Julie, the names for Swinton and her real life daughter Honor Swinton Byrne in Hogg’s “The Souvenir” and “The Souvenir Part II.”

Hogg said that the seed for the eternal daughter was sowed in 2008 when she read Rudyard Kipling 1904 short story “They,” which moved her to tears. In that story, the narrator, a bereaved father, visits a mysterious house that is populated with the spirits of children. Like much of Hogg’s work, “The Eternal Daughter” is also an improvised work, following no script.

“Joanna and I spoke a lot during those [‘The Souvenir’] years about our interest in this particular generation – the chasm between our mothers’ generation and women of our age,” Swinton said.

Hogg complimented Swinton’s “bravery” in playing the two parts with the same voice and not different voices.

“The Eternal Daughter” is in the main competition at Venice. A24 is handling international sales.

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