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Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon struck by the “New Wave”

New testimonies against the director Benoît Jacquot, accused of rape of a minor by the actress Judith Godrèche, the justice system which is also investigating the filmmaker Jacques Doillon, who made it film as a teenager: the proclaimed heirs of the New Wave are caught in storm.

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Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon struck by the “New Wave”

New testimonies against the director Benoît Jacquot, accused of rape of a minor by the actress Judith Godrèche, the justice system which is also investigating the filmmaker Jacques Doillon, who made it film as a teenager: the proclaimed heirs of the New Wave are caught in storm

Invited Thursday on France Inter, the 51-year-old actress reiterated her accusations of abuse and violence against Benoît Jacquot, who is 25 years older than her, directed her on screen and maintained for several years , without hiding, a relationship with her from the age of 14.

Also read: Judith Godrèche, the “icon of French cinema” who no longer wanted to be “the archetype of the nice girl”

She also implicated Jacques Doillon, 79 years old. By evoking facts which date back to the latter's filming of The 15-year-old girl, released in 1989. A film shot when Judith Godrèche was a minor and was in a relationship with Benoît Jacquot.

She recounted an intimate scene with Jacques Doillon, in the presence of Jane Birkin, who was then the director's companion. “All of a sudden, (Doillon) decides that there is a love scene, a sex scene between him and me,” she said. “I take off my sweater, I'm shirtless, he gropes me, makes out with me,” she added.

Asked whether Mr. Doillon had “abused” her, the actress acquiesced.

On the judicial side, a source close to the case explained to AFP on Thursday that the complaint filed Tuesday by Ms. Godrèche targeted MM. Jacquot and Doillon and therefore that the investigation opened following this complaint was in fact aimed at the two directors.

Entrusted to the Minor Protection Brigade, it concerns “the offenses of rape of a minor under 15 years of age by a person in authority, rape, violence by a partner, and sexual assault of a minor over 15 years of age by a person in authority”. “All of the facts denounced took place between 1986 and 1992,” according to the public prosecutor, i.e. the period when Jacquot and Godrèche were a couple.

Jacques Doillon, director of Rodin, Ponette or The Little Criminal, father of actresses Lou and Lola Doillon, is due to release a film, CE2, on March 27. He “discovered these accusations this morning through the press,” his lawyer, Me Marie Dosé, told AFP. “He refutes them forcefully and is eager to explain himself in court.”

Readily presented as the heirs of the New Wave, loving to film stories of initiation and desire and claiming closeness with their young actresses, Jacques Doillon, 79 years old, and Benoît Jacquot, 77 years old, are among the intellectual figures prized at the festivals and part of the press, but with irregular results in theaters.

Benoît Jacquot built his work around actresses, stars like Isabelle Huppert or debutantes, like Isild Le Besco and Virginie Ledoyen. He also met Judith Godrèche on the set of Les Mendiants released in 1988. “I can only film an actress if I am in love with her,” he explained in an interview with Le Figaro in 2009. Still active today, the director is accused by several actresses, reveals Le Monde this Thursday, February 8.

The published testimonies depict a similar mode of operation between seductive approaches, psychological influence and possessiveness towards these young women, aged between 15 and 23 at the material times. The actress and screenwriter Julia Roy, who is 42 years younger than him and has played in four of his films, denounces “verbal and physical violence”: insults and threats, kicks and slaps, throwing chairs and dishes. The actress and director Isild le Besco, six films with Benoît Jacquot including Sade which she shot at the age of 16, transmitted a daily text in which she evokes “psychological or physical violence”.

Jacques Doillon, who shared the life of Jane Birkin with whom he had a daughter, the singer Lou Doillon, is nicknamed the “filmmaker of childhood”. In his films he explores the themes of torment, frustration and class relations. His art is characterized by the representation of enclosed and natural spaces, by abundant dialogues and stories centered on souls in distress or very young characters. Judith Godrèche was only 15 years old when the director abused her position on a film set.

Another representative of this generation, Philippe Garrel, was implicated this summer by five actresses who testified in Mediapart about attempts at non-consensual kisses and sexual propositions during professional meetings, accusations that the 75-year-old director has minimized, while apologizing.

Coming from the same generation, Jean-Claude Brisseau, who died in 2019, was one of the first figures in cinema caught up in cases of sexist and sexual violence, and convicted in 2005 for the sexual harassment of two actresses.

Contacted by AFP, Benoît Jacquot's lawyer, Me Julia Minkowski, indicated that the director “contests Judith Godrèche's accusations. He asked the prosecution to be heard as quickly as possible. Asked about other testimonies published by Le Monde, she did not wish to comment.

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