Obama hails Spiel­berg’s ‘bound­less imag­i­na­tion’

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama awarded the high­est civil­ian honor Tues­day to film­maker Steven Spiel­berg, the man be­hind Hol­ly­wood hits “E.T.,” “Juras­sic Park” and “In­di­ana Jones.” “Steven’s films are marked most im­por­tantly by a faith in our com­mon hu­man­ity,” Obama said as he awarded him the Medal of Free­dom. ”His sto­ries have shaped America’s story, and his val­ues have shaped our world.”

Obama noted Spiel­berg’s work in found­ing the Shoah Foun­da­tion, which records tes­ti­monies of sur­vivors and other wit­nesses of the Holo­caust. The di­rec­tor, who has won three Os­cars and whose films have grossed more than $9 bil­lion in ticket sales, has cel­e­brated his own abil­ity to nav­i­gate be­tween var­i­ous gen­res, from block­busters like “Juras­sic” park to his­toric dra­mas like “Schindler’s list.” “Film has al­ways been the great­est way for me to un­bur­den my­self of my demons and to there­fore cast my demons on you,” he said ear­lier this month while pre­sent­ing his Cold War thriller “Bridge of Spies” in Ber­lin.

Among the 17 awardees at the White House cer­e­mony were singer-di­rec­tor Bar­bra Streisand and song­writer James Tay­lor. Among other en­ter­tain­ment stars hon­ored were mu­sic pro­ducer Emilio Este­fan and pop star Glo­ria Este­fan, a Cuban Amer­i­can cou­ple seen as trail­blaz­ers for be­ing Span­ish-lan­guage stars who suc­cess­fully crossed over to the English-lan­guage mar­ket. Grammy-win­ner Itzhak Perl­man and com­poser-lyri­cist Stephen Sond­heim also re­ceived the honor along­side base­ball great Wil­lie Mays and fel­low leg­end Yogi Berra, who got a post­hu­mous award.

— AFP

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama presents the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom to movie di­rec­tor Steven Spiel­berg at the White House in Wash­ing­ton on Novem­ber 24, 2015.

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