When Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome To New York screened in Cannes on Saturday night, Wild Bunch‘s Vincent Maraval was asked about potential lawsuits given the film’s source of inspiration. He responded that the movie was made under American law and had been well vetted by attorneys. But, he tossed out, if anyone wants to “make us publicity, they are welcome.” Looks like he’s getting his way as a lawsuit brews and accusations of anti-Semitism surface.
Welcome To New York is inspired by the 2011 sex scandal surrounding former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Gérard Depardieu, in various instances of near-pornographic debauchery, stars as Mr Devereaux, a high-ranking French government offical who is detained in New York after he sexually assaults a hotel maid. Jacqueline Bisset plays his wife Simone, an heiress to a fortune amassed during World War II and a financial supporter of Israel. On France’s Europe 1 radio this morning, Strauss-Kahn’s attorney Jean Veil said his client has instructed his lawyers “to file a suit for defamation owing to the accusations of rape and insinuations which run throughout the film.” Veil said a suit would be filed within a few days, but that Strauss-Kahn had not, and will not, see the movie based on the recommendations of friends that he “protect himself.” He added that he agreed with Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife Anne Sinclair who on Sunday called the film “anti-Semitic.” (more…)