Actor and director David Cronenberg  attended the Cannes press conference for his film Crimes of the Future and called the United States “completely insane” for potentially overturning Roe v. Wade, which has kept basic abortion rights legal since its 1973 ruling. The director’s new film, which is a return to his body horror roots, addresses “who owns who’s body,” Cronenberg said.  

“I did write [the script] 20 years ago but you could feel, even then, that this was coming,” Variety quoted him as saying.

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“A kind of oppressive ownership and control. It’s the constant in history, that somewhere in the world that wants to control its population. That means, once again, body is reality. You control people’s bodies — that’s speaking, expressing themselves, that’s control,” he added. 

The director said that in Canada “we think everybody in the U.S. is completely insane, that the U.S. has gone completely bananas, and cannot believe elected officials are saying what they’re saying.” 

The movie tells of an advanced society where “the human species adapts to a synthetic environment, the body undergoes new transformations and mutations,” according to an official synopsis.

Viggo Mortensen portrays a celebrity artist who shares the metamorphosis of internal organs as performance pieces, with the help of his partner Lea Seydoux. Kristen Stewart portrays a government investigator tracking both these hybrid organs (fun!) and the couple relentlessly, as a shadowy new group comes to light in search of “the next phase of human evolution.”

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The film “addresses in a not-obviously-political way the question of who owns whose body” said the filmmaker. 

Responding to a question about the themes of death and ageing in his movies, Cronenberg explained, “I’m actually older than the Cannes Film Festival.”

“Death and ageing are in every film,” he continued. “As soon as you take a photograph it’s ageing; and after ageing, death.”