Judith Godrèche at the Césars: “I speak but I cannot hear you. Where are you ? What do you say ? »

[Two weeks after Le Monde’s investigation into the controlling relationship exercised by director Benoît Jacquot over Judith Godrèche, then aged 14, the actress spoke during the Césars ceremony, Friday February 23, to encourage the freedom of speech on sexist and sexual violence in French cinema. We publish his speech below.]

It’s complicated to find myself in front of all of you this evening.

There are so many of you.

But, deep down, I guess it had to happen.

Our faces face to face, eye to eye.

Many of you have seen me grow up.

It’s impressive, it makes a mark.

Basically, I knew nothing other than cinema.

So, to reassure myself, on the way, I invented a little lullaby.

“My tight arms are you, all the little girls in silence,

My neck, my bent neck, it’s you, all the children in silence,

My wobbly legs are you, the young men who couldn’t defend themselves.

My mouth trembling but also smiling, it is you, my unknown sisters. »

After all, I too am a crowd.

A crowd in front of you.

A crowd looking you in the eye tonight.

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 ?

For some time now, words have been loosened, the image of our idealized fathers is being tarnished, power seems almost to be swaying, is it possible that we can look the truth in the face?

Take our responsibilities? To be the actors, the actresses of a universe that questions itself?

For some time now, I have been talking and talking, but I can’t hear you, or barely. Where are you ? What do you say ? A whisper. Half a word.

“That would already be it,” said Little Red Riding Hood.

I know it’s scary.

Lose grants.

Losing roles.

To lose his job.

Me too.

I’m scared too.

I left school at 15, I don’t have the baccalaureate, nothing.

It would be complicated to be blacklisted from everything.

That wouldn’t be funny.

Wandering the streets of Paris in my hamster costume.

Dreaming of an Icon of French cinema

In my rebellion, I thought of these terms we use on set. Silence.

Engine requested.

Silence has been my driving force for thirty years now.

Yet I imagine the incredible melody we could compose together.

Made of truth.

It wouldn’t hurt that much. I promise you.

Just a scratch on the carcass of our curious family.

It’s so nothing compared to a punch in the nose.

To a child taken by storm like a city besieged by an all-powerful adult, under the silent gaze of a team.

To a director who, while whispering, drags me to his bed under the pretext of having to understand who I really am.

It’s so nothing compared to 45 takes, with two disgusting hands on my 15 year old tits.

Cinema is made of our desire for truth.

Films watch us as much as we watch them.

It is also made of our need for humanity. No ?

So why ?

Why accept that this art that we love so much, this art that binds us, is used as a cover for illicit trafficking in young girls?

Because you know that this loneliness is mine but also that of thousands in our society.

It is in your hands.

We are at the forefront.

At the dawn of a new day.

We can decide that men accused of rape cannot make it rain or shine in the cinema.

That sets the tone, as they say.

We cannot ignore the truth because it is not about our child, our son, our daughter.

We cannot have such a level of impunity, denial and privilege that makes morality go over our heads.

We must lead by example.

U.S. too.

Don’t think I’m talking to you about my past, my past which doesn’t pass.

My past is also the present of the 2,000 people who sent me their testimony in four days… It is also the future of all those who have not yet had the strength to become their own witness.

You know, to believe yourself, you still have to be believed.

The world watches us, we travel with our films, we are lucky to be in a country where it seems that freedom exists.

So, with the same moral force we use to create,

Let us have the courage to say out loud what we know quietly.

Let’s not play heroines on screen, only to find ourselves hidden in the woods in real life; let’s not embody revolutionary or humanist heroes, only to get up in the morning knowing that a director has abused a young actress, and say nothing.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to put on my cape tonight and invade you a little.

You have to be wary of little girls.

They hit the bottom of the pool, bump into each other, hurt themselves, but bounce back.

The little girls are punks who come back dressed as hamsters.

And, to dream of a possible revolution,

They like to replay this dialogue from Céline and Julie going on a boat [film of Jacques Rivette, released in 1974] :

Celine. ” Once upon a time.

Julie. — Twice upon a time. It was three times.

Celine. — It was that, this time, it won’t happen like that, not like the other times. »


The world


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