Norway film legend attacks #metoo movement

The Norwegian film star and director Liv Ullmann has come out against the #metoo movement, complaining that the campaign ignores the widespread rape of women in African countries.

The actress, who is famed for her work with the director Ingmar Bergman, told an audience at the Arendalsuka political festival that she had chosen not to go public with her own experiences of sexual harassment.

"If I had brought my metoo, that's what we would have seen in the newspapers tomorrow. That's why I choose not to do that," she said. "And I have to say I've never been a victim, this has not pulled me down. But that we forget these other women, I think that is difficult."

Ullmann, who co-founded the Woman’s Refugee Commission in 1989, said she could not see why no one in the #metoo movement had not used the publicity it had generated to highlight the plight of women in poor, unstable countries.

"I do not understand that the #metoo movement, which is so strong, does not talk about the big assault that happens to women today,” she said. “Why it doesn’t mention all the women in Africa who have to go several miles to find water and who know that on the way they might be raped and killed. But they have no choice, they must have water.”

The actress, who turns 80 in December, also attacked the anti-refugee feeling which has built up in Norway and other European countries since a wave of asylum seekers hit the continent in the autumn of 2015.

“Our soul, Europe's soul, is destroyed by talking about refugees as if they are all criminals,” Ullmann argued. “There is no way to say to people who have had to escape from their homes that we can not accommodate them.”

Liv Ullman acted in ten films for Bergman, with whom she also had a child, the novelist and critic Linn Bergman.

In 1972, she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for the film The Emigrants, for which she was also nominated for an Academy award. She has been nominated for more than 40 awards during her long career.

She has also received considerable acclaim as a director, with her 2000 film Faithless receiving nominations for both the Palme d'Or and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival.
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