“Cinema more easily brings together the perversions of the world”

“Cinema more easily brings together the perversions of the world”
“Cinema more easily brings together the perversions of the world”

In almost two hundred pages, Isild Le Besco contributes to the building of MeToo, emphasizing in his story, entitled Say true (Denoël), her parents, her sister Maïwenn, her ex-brother-in-law Luc Besson, several directors with whom she has filmed and, above all, her former companion Benoît Jacquot. An intimate and devastating text, written in one month, she explains, just a year ago, where she denounces the psychological and physical violence of which she says she was the victim from her childhood to adulthood.

This singular book combines personal resentments with accusations of child abuse, rape, assault and battery, blackmail and abuse of weakness. A feminist indictment certainly necessary, it surprises by the radicality of certain comments made by its author. To accompany her release, she answered questions from journalists from M le Mag and was invited on several television shows, reiterating her accusations, while explaining that she did not wish to pursue the filmmaker, thirty-five years her senior, with whom she was in a relationship from the age of 16 to the age of 24.

Depardieu, Jacquot, Doillon… The world of cinema faces its demons

When we meet her, she is exhausted but valiant. “A vegan cappuccino”, she asks the waiter at a Parisian café. “In February, after Judith’s testimony [Godrèche], I was urged to file a complaint. I didn’t want it. Coming face to face with the police, as part of an investigation, is too trying. But out of solidarity, because I wanted to help, to denounce an entire process, not just one person, I decided to publish my words”.

Her parents, to whom she remains close despite the slaps and abandonment inflicted on their children, welcomed her approach. His elder sister, director Maïwenn, Luc Besson and Benoît Jacquot did not react, but the latter firmly contested the accusations against him. A few days before the opening of the Cannes Film Festival, Isild Le Besco, who went there three times to promote films, recounts mixed memories of the event. She was happy to play roles there, but the Croisette is for her associated with the breakup between her sister Maïwenn and Luc Besson some time before the presentation of the “Fifth Element”in 1997.

Notoriety allows you to say and be heard”

From a very young age, cinema, towards which her mother pushed her, was an escape, the means of“to exist in someone’s eyes” and acquire autonomy. Acclaimed actress, lauded director, Le Besco believes, like others among her peers, to be a “privileged” : “Notoriety allows us to say and be heard, we are given microphones, this is not the case for the vast majority of women victims”. Recalling: “There are no more cases of abuse in cinema than elsewhere. Cinema is a mirror of the world, which gives it a power of persuasion. He will bring together the perversions of the world more easily. Things are more raw there, because it is the most effective tool for evoking human nature. »

She can count on the support of other actresses, Judith Chemla, Emmanuelle Béart, Vahina Giocante, Sandrine Bonnaire, Anouk Grinberg and Judith Godrèche, with whom she talks regularly. “Women save me more than men, she says. Men may have missed the real value of women. » She refuses to tell herself “militant”, preferring to describe his approach as“humanist”, she who already in 2018 published a book retracing the destinies of female figures and produced a clip for the Women’s Foundation. The films she writes and directs, five in all, also deal with the condition of women. Today, she neither fears nor is surprised by rumors of accusations that could be brought against famous actors during the Cannes Film Festival, even believing, without nuance: “It seems that by nature the majority of men act, even to their own expense, like aggressors, with some exceptions. They are part of a generalized machismo. » These imputations recall the excesses observed within certain feminist movements. Isild Le Besco seems to subscribe to it, even if it means taking the risk of lessening the force of his words.

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