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Busan Jury: Mike Figgis: ‘U.K. Has a Prime Minister Who Wants to Be Donald Trump’

Czech artistic director of the Karlovy
KIM HEE-CHUL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“Leaving Las Vegas” director Mike Figgis has slammed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Brexit process.

“We have a prime minister who wants to be Donald Trump but is a complete fool,” Figgis said Friday at the Busan International Film Festival. Figgis is set as competition jury president and was responding to media questions before the jury got down to the task of judging 14 films.

“Brexit is like living in a surrealistic, hyper-realist film,” Figgis said. “I am very worried. We have no real sense of what will happen.”

Figgis said that many people had underestimated the technical complexity of the U.K.’s proposed withdrawal from the European Union. “It was never going to happen in a simple way.”

While angry and worried by the three years of Brexit limbo, Figgis said that some good could come from the process. “Nothing will ever be the same again. The U.K. will not be the same. Europe will not be the same.” But he quickly tempered that ray of hope by explaining that Brexit “adds to this state of global confusion.”

Figgis said that he aims to soon be making movies in Korea. It was unclear whether the Brexit mess was his motivation.

“I’m on a mission to make a film with Korea,” he said, adding: “I have a little dissatisfaction with the Hollywood and European system of making films, and sense a different kind of energy in Asia and in Korea in particular.

“I’ve been to Korea five times in the last year, taken a lot of meetings. My interest is very, very great.”