César 2024: faced with sexual violence, the moment of truth for French cinema

Will French cinema burst its abscess?

All eyes are turning, Friday, February 23, to the Olympia, in Paris, where the 49th César evening is being held, against a backdrop of freedom of speech around sexual violence in the 7th art.

One of the statuettes awarded to winners of the César Awards, the highest distinction in French cinema.

Charly Triballeau/AFP

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Which film will emerge as the big winner at the Césars?

The phenomenal

Anatomy of a Fall

, nominated eleven times, and already crowned with Golden Globes and Oscar nominations?


The Animal Kingdom

, cited twelve times?

Usually, the little game of predictions keeps the cinema world in suspense before the awards ceremony.

But this year, other issues are attracting attention.

Will the great family of French


turn the page on decades of silence on sexist and sexual violence?

Seven years after the American MeToo

wave ,



cinema finally undergo its revolution?

After decades of silence and impunity for sexual predators, victims are denouncing and, above all, being heard.

There are those who denounced the attacks by Gérard Depardieu.

And more recently,

the actress Judith Godrèche

 who also filed a rape complaint against the filmmakers Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon.

Many are waiting for words from the actress, who has become a leading figure in French




Whether I go to the Césars or not, we don’t care 

,” interrupted Judith Godrèche, two days before the ceremony, calling instead to “ 


 ” the victims.


Our community suffers in silence.

Our young girls suffer in silence.

And once again, once again, the government is silent, the politicians are silent, and the actors, the directors are silent

 ,” added the actress and screenwriter.

A gathering planned before the ceremony 

To break this “ 


 ”, the CGT Spectacle union will speak on the red carpet before the ceremony, scheduled for 8:45 p.m. (7:45 p.m. UT).

She has also arranged to meet at 7:00 p.m. in front of the auditorium, for a gathering in which the general secretary of the CGT, Sophie Binet, will participate.

The 50/50 collective, at the forefront of these struggles, will also be there.

From the indictment of actor Gérard Depardieu for rape and sexual assault to the accusations made by Judith Godrèche, followed by other actresses, sexual violence haunts French cinema more than ever.

On Thursday, actress Isild Le Besco, in turn, announced that she was “ 


 ” filing a complaint against Jacques Doillon and Benoît Jacquot, denouncing a “

 destructive influence

 ” and “



And actor Aurélien Wiik launched the


#MeTooGarçons on Instagram. 

The president's words will be scrutinized

A priori

, no one named is concerned by accusations.

Actor Samuel Theis (

Anatomy of a Fall

) is under investigation after a technician filed a rape complaint while he was filming a movie last summer, but he is not part of it.

A rule of “ 


 ” of those accused by the courts “ 

for acts of violence 

” has been instituted: no invitation to events linked to the Caesars, no presentation of statuettes on stage, nor speeches for the laureats.

In the room, the question is likely to eclipse the prize race between the favorite

Anatomy of a Fall

and its competitors, such as the tribute to the actress Micheline Presle, doyenne of French cinema, who died Wednesday at the age of 101.

The multiplication of these accusations feeds the suspicion that, among the filmmakers, actors and other professionals of the 7th art who will take place at the Olympia, some have turned a blind eye to this type of facts.

The words of the president of the ceremony, actress Valérie Lemercier, will be scrutinized.

And the line-up of French cinema stars who will follow one another to host the evening are expected around the corner. 

Supposed to represent cinema in its diversity, the Césars have evolved since the cataclysmic 2020 edition where Roman Polanski, accused of rape, received

the award for best director



, causing the departure of actress Adèle Haenel.




Also read: Goya ceremony: Spanish cinema is also cleaning up #MeToo


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