Abel Ferrara rejects anti-Semitism charge over his Strauss-Khan-inspired film

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 10:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 10:10pm


American film director Abel Ferrara, whose movie inspired by the sex scandal that brought down IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn premiered in Cannes, has rejected allegations of anti-Semitism.

The movie stars Gerard Depardieu as Georges Devereaux, a man with striking similarities to Strauss-Kahn - accused of a 2011 sexual assault on a New York hotel maid; Jacqueline Bisset plays his wife.

The daily Le Monde and Strauss-Kahn's ex-wife Anne Sinclair have lashed out at a film they believe portrays Bisset's character, Simone, in an anti-Jewish way. Asked about the controversy, Ferrara said on Sunday he is not "anti-Semitic". "I hope not. I was brought up by Jewish women," he said.

In the film, Simone is a rich woman who inherited a fortune amassed during the second world war and helps the Israeli state financially.

Writing in the French version of the Huffington Post, which she edits, Sinclair said she was "disgusted with the so-called face-to-face between the two main characters, on which the authors and producers of the film project their fantasies about money and Jews".

"The allusions to my family during the war are completely degrading and defamatory. They say the opposite of what happened," she said. "My grandfather [famous art dealer Paul Rosenberg] had to escape from the Nazis and was stripped of his French nationality by the Vichy government," she added, referring to the wartime French regime that collaborated with the Germans. "My father ... fought until the liberation. To say otherwise is slander."

Ferrara denied having sullied the memory of Sinclair's father. "He was not a collaborator. He was almost killed by the Gestapo. He was completely the opposite. He was very nearly killed like six million Jews."