Robert De Niro On Trump, Marrakech Film Festival And Art “Creativity Comes From The Bottom Up”

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Robert De Niro astatine nan "Killers Of The Flower Moon" Photocall astatine nan 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival ... [+] (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

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As actors stitchery for November’s Marrakech International Film Festival pinch Scorsese arsenic their Atlas Workshops partner, Robert De Niro talks astir art, authorities and why he decided to unfastened a edifice successful Marrakech.

Robert De Niro is notoriously difficult to interview. He’s known for being late, dodging questions and turning up successful a mellow temper alternatively than a conversation-ready spirit. But erstwhile we meet he’s fresh to talk aft a engaged fewer months connected nan property junket circuit of his caller movie Killers of nan Flower Moon (2023), his latest collaboration pinch Martin Scorsese astir Osage County, Oklahoma, successful nan early 1920s and nan Black Wall Street massacre successful 1921.

When we talk De Niro is caller from launching his latest venture, not a movie but a destination – Nobu Marrakech, nan first of his and co-partner Nobu San’s Nobu hotels successful Morocco. Wedged betwixt nan city’s medina and nan 1930s buildings of nan Gueliz neighborhood, alongside cook Nobu San and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape movie shaper Meir Teper, De Niro’s manner marque has go an institution, this latest motorboat will people 36 locations crossed nan world.

As nan 20th Marrakech International Film Festival arrives successful municipality from 24 November - 2 December, presided complete this twelvemonth by Jessica Chastain, De Niro is emotion talkative astir astatine nan merits of Moroccan filmmakers for illustration Narjiss Nejjar and Nabil Ayouch, and is impressed by nan movie manufacture successful nan city. In 2018 Martin Scorsese presented an honorary tribute grant to De Niro during nan show – for nan 2023 edition, Scorsese will be arsenic nan charismatic patron of nan Atlas Workshops, which activity towards supporting nan caller procreation of Moroccan and Arabic filmmakers. “I cognize that there's been a batch written astir Marrakech, but nan movie manufacture present is really thing – and not arsenic galore group cognize astir it arsenic they should. Morocco has a full enigma astir it, there’s thing very beautiful and lyrical astir it.”

US character Robert De Niro poses adjacent to a image of his begetter Robert Sr successful an accumulation of Robert ... [+] De Niro Sr - paintings astatine La Piscine successful Roubaix, France (Photo by Franck CRUSIAUX/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

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De Niro says that he’s ever been drawn to nan productivity successful Marrakech, “extending Nobu to this metropolis conscionable made sense,” he says. The character was brought up astir creation and creativity. His father, Robert De Niro Senior was a afloat clip profession artist, studying nether Bauhaus creator and technician Josef Albers astatine nan innovative Black Mountain College, North Carolina, from 1939 to 1941. De Niro Senior went connected to activity astatine nan Museum of Non-Objective Art successful New York, which later became nan Guggenheim Museum. The young creator fought pinch nan Bauhaus dogma and became an expressionist painter, a astonishing move for a clip erstwhile nan Bauhaus school’s power heavy impacted art, civilization and design. His father’s way some led to De Niro inferior imitating his De Niro Senior’s expertise to subvert imaginative trends, arsenic good arsenic to activity retired creation wherever he is. Of Marrakech, De Niro says, “I’d emotion to spot nan artwork that comes retired of present from group connected nan street, if you will. That's ever interesting.”

Robert De Niro pinch his business partner Nobu San successful Marrakech, Morocco


Cinéma Colisée successful Nobu’s neighboring Gueliz and is 1 of nan main locations for nan Marrakech movie festival. Located 10 minutes extracurricular nan aged municipality and historical medina, designed successful 1953 by nan designer Georges Peynet, it’s nan centre of 1 of nan astir imaginative areas of Marrakech. This twelvemonth nan cinema will show films by Arabic and African board including Stateless (2018) head Narjiss Nejjar and The Kaftan Blue (2022) head ​​Nabil Ayouch. For a decade and until 2019, De Niro ran nan Robert De Niro Senior creation prize successful grant of his father’s art. After releasing a movie astir nan execution and marginalization of 1 of America’s Osage Nation community, really important is it to De Niro to research nan oppressed cultures done film? “I think, to me, productivity comes from nan bottommost up, arsenic opposed to being, you cognize a didactic thing. Creatively, I’m very unfastened to everything.”

De Niro slips easy into talking astir politics. During nan Cannes Film Festival successful May, he was outspoken astir Donald Trump, a fig who nan character has regularly criticized, astir precocious during nan Cannes Film Festival successful a chat of his movie pinch Martin Scorsese Killers of nan Flower Moon, successful which he compared nan sidesplitting of George Floyd successful 2020 nether Trump’s presidency to nan Black Wall Street massacre – saying of nan erstwhile president “that feline is stupid” and referring to his tenure arsenic “the banality of evil”. Trump’s Muslim prohibition stopped group successful aggregate Islamic countries coming to America and accrued Islamophobia successful nan US. “To not want to travel to Morocco because of belief prejudiced bigoted opinion” he says of Marrakech, “it’s conscionable absurd.”

De Niro now has a guidelines successful nan city, his ain suite astatine nan Nobu Marrakech complete pinch his ain entranceway and views of nan Atlas Mountains. As he adjunct attempts to wrap up our interview, I inquire if he’ll beryllium visiting Morocco much often. “I’d emotion to walk much clip astatine nan [film] show here, nan arts are unthinkable successful Marrakech. I tin really consciousness nan history of nan state successful nan arts present and there’s still a batch I person to learn.”

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