Leading Hindus are urging French actress Fanny Ardant to extend her stay in Rome, Italy for the city's upcoming film festival - and show her film about the plight of Roma gypsies to THE POPE.
The Ridicule star will premiere the hard-hitting new documentary about the romany mistreatment across Europe, Chimeres Absentes, at the Rome Film Festival at the end of the month (Oct10) and Hindus hope Ardant will be seeking an audience with Pope Benedict while she's there.
Leading U.S. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed tells WENN, "We are asking Fanny Ardant to exhibit her short drama Chimeres Absentes, being shown at the upcoming Rome Film Festival, to Pope Benedict to make him aware of the Roma apartheid happening right under his nose."
Ardant's short film chronicles the story of a Roma girl who is refused at a local school because of her travelling family's poverty.
Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, adds, "Maybe after seeing Ardant’s film, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI would openly embrace the Roma cause... The Pope, being the acclaimed representative of God on earth, should raise his voice against continuous Roma maltreatment.
"The Pope should recognise, acknowledge and affirm the Roma as children of God who deserved to be treated like all other people - as equals."
The Hindus are particularly invested in ending the Roma mistreatment because religious leaders believe the gypsy people migrated to mainland Europe from India in the 11th century.
Ardant isn't the only celebrity to have spoken out about what Hindus call the "Roma genocide" - Madonna and Angelina Jolie have also addressed the issue publicly.