February 17, 2007 / 2:04 PM / 13 years ago

Chirac awards high French order to Clint Eastwood

Veteran U.S. actor and director Clint Eastwood speaks at the Elysee palace after being awarded with France's highest distinction, the Legion of Honor, by French President Jacques Chirac in Paris February 17, 2007. REUTERS/Remy de la Mauviniere/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) - President Jacques Chirac awarded the Legion d’Honneur order to actor and director Clint Eastwood on Saturday, calling his latest films lessons in humanity.

“At this side of the Atlantic ... you embody the best of Hollywood. In France, your films move millions of viewers because they are strong without being simplistic, lucid without being cynical,” he told the 76-year-old American during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace.

Chirac said Eastwood’s latest films “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” showed the impasse that can follow from the blind use of force.

“This warning, which is a good lesson in humanity, evokes a special echo in our conscience,” Chirac said.

He wished success for “Letters from Iwo Jima”, which will be released in France next week.

The Legion of Honor is France’s highest order and has five classes. Eastwood was awarded the lowest rank — that of knight. The order was first awarded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804.

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