While Quebec students will have to make up for the delay caused by the strike, I have just come out of a period of cultural catching up, and there was Sad tiger, of Snow Sinno.

I looked around for a long time around this book covered in prizes that everyone talked about last fall, without daring to open it. Stories about incest upset me too much. Neige Sinno found inspiration in the books of Angot, Kouchner and Fragoso to say the unspeakable, while questioning the power and powerlessness of literature towards such a subject. Why does an adult cross the red line with a child or minor?

And I was reading Sinno while in France, the Depardieu affair was taking a new turn. As in a bad day after Christmas, around fifty artists signed a column on December 26 to defend the actor, where we could read these incredibly pompous sentences: “When we attack Gérard Depardieu like this, it is the art that is being attacked. Through his genius as an actor, Gérard Depardieu contributes to the artistic influence of our country. He contributes to the history of art in the highest possible way. (…) Cinema and theater cannot do without his unique and extraordinary personality. To deprive yourself of this immense actor would be a tragedy, a defeat. The death of art. »

The death of art, seriously? But no, not at all, it’s not art that we’re attacking, only the lecherous monuncles on film sets, and around 600 other artists responded to this platform to denounce it. I swear, a real soap opera. Even President Emmanuel Macron found himself in the storm by defending Depardieu, “who makes France proud”, to which former President François Hollande replied “We are not proud of Gérard Depardieu” and that we would be expected of the President of the Republic to speak instead of women who have been attacked.

We noted that the average age of the signatories of the platform for Gégé was close to 68 years, and it is indeed a bit generational, this confrontation, between a certain aristocracy of cinema which in its time embodied sexual liberation and a next generation who no longer wants to suffer violence under the cover of art. Particularly young women, even young girls, who are subject to this “Lolita” fad.

We can no longer count the number of films and novels that tell stories between very young women and men who could be their fathers. Let us not be surprised today to end up with works on incest.

The old world trembles, not without getting angry and defending itself, sometimes reacting without thinking, and some signatories then backpedaled. No one understood why Nadine Trintignant, mother of Marie Trintignant, murdered by Bertrand Cantat, signed this column. She retracted, like the actor Jacques Weber who regretted his “gesture of friendship”, adding this: “my signature was another rape”.

Some will see it as self-flagellation worthy of re-education camps, whereas I only see excuses from people who climbed into the curtains a little too quickly. It seems that in France, we learned nothing from this embarrassing column on “the right to annoy” published in 2018, when the #metoo movement was gaining momentum and the victims were barely starting to speak.

The subject goes far beyond the Depardieu case, which only crystallizes, through its immense imprint on French cinema, everything that is wrong in this environment – ​​and not just in this environment, but in an entire culture. It became a social phenomenon, which was preceded by a book like The consentby Vanessa Springora (whose cinema adaptation will be released in theaters on February 23 in Quebec), or the virulent outing of Adèle Haenel in 2020 during the Césars ceremony when Roman Polanski was rewarded.

Sophie Marceau explained why she never wanted to work with Depardieu again, emphasizing that he obviously did not attack stars like Deneuve or Ardant, but rather beginners and powerless employees, who will not dare to complain . On this subject, singer Lio recalled that predators always choose the most vulnerable in the herd. And there is nothing more herd than the world of showbiz, where everyone is at the mercy of “sacred monsters” or the desire of directors.


The actress Judith Godrèche

Tongues never stop being loosened. This week we had to hear actress Judith Godrèche talk about the influence that director Benoit Jacquot had on her when she was 14 and he was 40. In his series Icon of French Cinema, she evokes without naming her affair of several years with the director. But it was an extract from a 2011 documentary by Gérard Miller, in which Benoit Jacquot recounts his relationship with her, which pushed her to speak publicly, despite the fear of reprisals. “A girl like her, like this Judith, who was in fact 15 years old, me, 40, in principle, I had no right,” he said. But gosh, she didn’t give a damn. And even her, it excited her a lot I would say. »

“I was 14 and not 15, and I was not seduced, I was completely manipulated,” declared Godrèche, who was not the only minor actress to fall into Jacquot’s net.

In this interview which has resurfaced, he sums up the phenomenon quite well: “Making cinema is a kind of cover for morals of this type. (…) In the cinematographic landscape, we can feel a certain esteem, a certain admiration for what others would undoubtedly also like to practice. »

A friend of French origin pointed out to me that, unlike what happened in the United States or in Quebec, journalistic investigations have not been as successful in bringing down powerful people or leading to trials in France. . It is much more the speaking out of well-known personalities that moves things forward, and it is not so much the sacred monsters that we debunk as stubborn myths, like that of Pygmalion, or twisted fantasies, like that of the Lolita. The least we can say is that there is a lot of catching up to do and that the #metoo storm has definitely made landfall in France.


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