Cannes 2024: Léa Seydoux throws support behind France’s MeToo movement

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Following the world premiere of her new movie, The Second Act, at Cannes Film Festival on May 14th, Léa Seydoux has weighed in on the growing MeToo movement in France, expressing her support to the women coming forward.

The origins of the MeToo movement in Hollywood began in 2017, however, over the last 12 months, it has spread to the French film industry with several women sharing their alleged experiences. While the American movie sector has changed to become a more inclusive environment following MeToo, the situation in France is years behind and the conversation is dominating Cannes.

It was recently announced that French actor Gerárd Depardieu will face trial later this year over the alleged sexual assaults of two women while on-set in 2021. Depardieu denies the accusations.

Furthermore, in March, actor Judith Godrèche criticised the French film industry in the upper house of parliament, urging an investigation into sexual violence within the sector. Additionally, in February, Godrèche offically filed a report to the police accusing director Benoit Jacquot of rape, who denies the allegation.

Godreche is also set to premiere her new short film, Moi Aussi, at Cannes, which explores the stories of those who have been victims of sexual abuse.

Speaking at a press conference following the premiere of The Second Act, Seydoux said of the French MeToo movement: “It’s a wonderful thing that women are speaking out. It’s about high time they did.”

The Second Act is a satirical film, which Seydoux says “plays with the idea” of “very current events, and this movement where women are now speaking out and that was a fundamental importance of that change to take place.”

Seydoux also believes the film industry has made progress since she started out, stating, “I see there’s been a change, we’ve moved on.”

Highlighting a specific area of improvement, she noted: “I think there’s a great respect when shooting a film…I sense the change in very intimate scenes that are being shot. I can sense there’s been a great change.”

The French actor’s comments about the role of intimacy co-ordinators echo remarks made by Greta Gerwig, the president of this year’s competition jury, who also spoke at a press conference at Cannes on May 14th.

The Barbie director said “substantive change” had been in Hollywood in the wake of the MeToo movement, noting: “The one I always think of is the rise of intimacy coordinators. That is not something I had starting out. I think of it the exact same way I think of a stunt coordinator or a fight coordinator. It’s an art.”

While Cannes is set to play host to a series of high-profile premieres such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and George Miller’s Mad Max: Furiosa, the MeToo movement conversation in France is more important than any movie.

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