French president JACQUES CHIRAC has awarded legendary director STEVEN SPIELBERG with France's highest honour, for his work fighting hatred and intolerance

Spielberg was made a knight of the FRENCH LEGION OF HONOUR on Sunday (05SEP) at a star-studded ceremony in Paris - Gwyneth Paltrow and SOPHIE MARCEAU where among the celebrities in attendance.

President Chirac cited Schindler's List as a powerful piece of film-making which has played a huge part in remembering past atrocities along with heroic deeds.

He said, "In this difficult time when intolerance, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and fanaticism are on the rise again, it is essential that cinema, which touches each one of us deep inside, recalls the horror of what is unutterable.

"It is essential that this form of eminently popular expression and creativity reminds everyone of the disastrous effects of hatred, intolerance and the rejection of others."

After accepting this latest honour, Spielberg said, "We have to work very, very hard to make people understand that we have to celebrate people's differences and not condemn them."

06/09/2004 17:13