Gérard Depardieu by Yann Moix, the incredible story of the film that caused a scandal

Gérard Depardieu by Yann Moix, the incredible story of the film that caused a scandal

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Gérard Depardieu and Yann Moix push luggage carts in a Beijing airport. The actor and the writer are looking for the counter of Air Koryo, the North Korean company. Depardieu has a knee problem. We put him in a wheelchair. He also has a digestion problem. “I sent beads of gas, worthy of a great German,” he announces, laughing, as he is wheeled to the plane. “My little blue rabbit,” he says to the flight attendant who welcomes him on board. He takes advantage of the flight to examine her: “Look at this little one in tights… I could undress her in peace and massage her a little. Oh, massage her little knees…”

Thus begins a film that everyone is talking about without having been able to see it. A feature film never released in theaters, but which has already marked the history of French cinema in a funny way, by causing the downfall of one of its most legendary actors, revealing in the process the divisions of an environment fractured by the #metoo wave.

In September 2018, Yann Moix, writer, columnist but also filmmaker, took Gérard Depardieu to North Korea. A film crew accompanies them. The North Korean regime is celebrating its seventieth anniversary, and so is the actor: the documentary recounting Cyrano de Bergerac’s trip to Kim Jong-un will therefore be called 70 . For five years, the film lay dormant on the hard drives of its producer, the Hikari company. It is only circulated among professionals and those close to Yann Moix. A source who wishes to remain anonymous allowed us to view it.

On December 7, 2023, the France 2 program “Complément d’investigation” broadcast extracts from the rushes, the raw images from the filming, in a subject signed by Damien Fleurette, Daniele Vella and Emmanuel Baert. We discovered that the sacred monster of cinema”, according to the prevailing cliché, was more monstrous than sacred as soon as he encountered women, with his obscene jokes, his invasive looks and his bestial growls. In these images from North Korea, there are no sexual assaults, but enough elements to give credibility to the portrait of the actor drawn up by the women accusing him of rape and sexual assault and to crystallize the indignation.

A complicated launch

70 has caused a lot of ink to flow since the broadcast of the France 2 investigative program, but it is in reality the extension of a much larger project. After having had several love stories with French women of Korean origin, the writer and filmmaker, once a divisive columnist for the France 2 talk show “On n’est pas couch”, developed a fascination for the peninsula. To the point of embarking, in the early 2010s, on the production of Korea . This project will be Yann Moix’s third feature film, after Podium (2004), his successful comedy about a Claude François lookalike played by Benoît Poelvoorde, and Cinéman (2009), about a professor played by Franck Dubosc with the power to traveling in films, a commercial failure and, in the filmmaker’s own opinion, a failure.

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