French cinema: the end of impunity

“It’s a funny time for us, isn’t it? A ghost from the Americas comes to kick in the armored door. Who would’ve believed that ? » Standing on the stage of the Olympia after a long exile in the United States, the actress Judith Godrèche stood on February 23 in front of the great family of French cinema gathered for the annual celebration of the Césars. Not for a vengeful speech, nor to denounce anyone. But to say once again since the filing of his complaint for rape against the directors Jacques Doillon and Benoît Jacquot, at the beginning of February, that the silence had lasted too long regarding certain members of a profession deeply shaken in recent weeks by the cascading revelations. ” Where are you ? What do you say ? “, she said to the many actors and directors present in the room.

Seven years. It took seven years since the earthquake caused by the indictment in the United States of producer Harvey Weinstein, in October 2017, since sentenced to heavy prison sentences, for the waves of the #metoo movement to shake the middle of the 7th art.

Because, through the testimony of Judith Godrèche or the accusations of Isild Le Besco against the same Jacques Doillon, without forgetting the complaints for rape and sexual assault targeting Gérard Depardieu – including one filed for prescription –, they are pillars of cinema French people who are shaken.

Recognized filmmakers or actors, received and honored at all festivals and benefiting for many years from the support of critics and the press – Le Monde was no exception. “This is a profound questioning that is opening up for French cinema,” said the Minister of Culture, Rachida Dati, in an interview with Le Film français published on the day of the Césars. “Creative freedom is total, but here we are not talking about art, we are talking about child abuse. »

The voice of actresses, but also that of actors, can finally be raised to denounce unacceptable, even potentially criminal, behavior, and these words are now heard in an environment quick to remain deaf to all kinds of abuse in the name of separation. long considered sacrosanct between man and artist. This “partition” is fortunately in the process of collapsing, at a time when it is no longer tolerable to watch a work, cinematographic or otherwise, without taking into consideration the conditions in which it was produced, including respect people.

A sordidness obscured by glitter

A form of impunity has existed. This examination of conscience can, rightly, be considered late. It is all the more necessary and salutary. The celebration of creators and their works without wanting to see the abject for which the latter were the alibi has lasted too long.

This great questioning is an opportunity to recall the role of those who, like Adèle Haenel in 2019, had the courage to speak out to speak out about a suffering endured for too long in silence, and to reveal a sordid nature hidden by the sunlight and the glitter. We can only regret the blindness of artists who refuse to allow their world to change. This change will occur, with or without them, and everything must be done to ensure that it becomes irreversible. Long synonymous with pride, French auteur cinema must never again serve as a screen for predators.

The world

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