Indian Women Shine at Cannes 2024: Anasuya Sengupta to Kusruti Supporting Palestine
Indian Women Shine at Cannes 2024: Anasuya Sengupta to Kusruti Supporting Palestine

Indian actress Kani Kusruti made a bold statement at the Cannes Film Festival, displaying solidarity with the victims of the Gaza conflict while attending the red carpet premiere of her film All We Imagine As Light. Kani, one of the leads in Payal Kapadia’s film competing for the Palme d’Or, accessorized her outfit with a handbag shaped like a watermelon slice—a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation.

The colors of the watermelon—red, green, white, and black—mirror those of the Palestinian flag, and it has become an alternative political symbol since the flag itself was banned by Israel following the six-day war in 1967. Kani's gesture gained widespread attention on the internet, with many praising her bravery at a time when few actors, both in India and Hollywood, have taken a stance on the ongoing conflict.

Kani's watermelon-shaped clutch was designed by Diya John, a designer based in Kochi, who also created the rest of her outfit—a stunning white bodycon silk dress. John's boutique, Salt Studio, shared a video detailing the creation of the unique watermelon clutch.

In another moment of prominence at the festival, Anasuya Sengupta, a Kolkata native, delivered a powerful message after winning a top acting award for her role in The Shameless. Anasuya dedicated her award to the queer community, emphasizing the need for more female perspective in filmmaking.

"This is for the queer community everywhere, and all other marginalized communities all over the world, for bravely fighting a fight they shouldn't have to fight," Anasuya passionately stated in her acceptance speech.

Anasuya's role in The Shameless, directed by Bulgarian filmmaker Konstantin Bojanov, portrays the harrowing yet empowering journey of her character, Renuka, as she escapes from a brothel in Delhi by killing a police officer. The film explores Renuka's complex relationship with her love interest, played by Omara Shetty.

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