Former French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot has slammed the film industry in her new book ‘682 Jours – Le Bal Des Hypocrites’ which translates to ‘682 Days – The Hypocrites’ Ball.’ The book is slamming filmmakers and celebrities for continuing to make money during the Covid-19 pandemic when France had some of the strictest lockdowns. She specifically targeted the French government giving movie companies subsidies for what she referred to as “flops.”
Deadline reports that she wrote, “The famous ‘Cultural Exception’ in fact allows very many French films ‘not to find their public’, to put it politely, or more explicitly, to be flops.”
“This system also guarantees lead actors to secure extraordinary fees, three or four times superior to actors in American independent cinema,” she said. “Public subsidies, advance on receipts, tax breaks, intermittence (the support scheme for freelance entertainment workers) have created an assisted economy that hardly cares about the tastes of spectators and is even contemptuous of popular, profitable films.”
“You may tell me that some of these flops are perhaps essential works that we will discover later with a sense of guilt for having missed their genius. It’s always staggering to see how people of the ‘left’ are contemptuous of ‘the people’ who, for them, have crap tastes,” the French bureaucrat continued.
Asked to clarify if she thought France should stop paying the film industry altogether, she replied, “Ah non! It makes perfect sense to continue to do so. If France is the only European country to have a cinema industry, which in turn feeds into an industry on the platforms, it’s because of the policies we’ve had in place since 1946, since the creation of the National Cinema Centre.”
She added, “We need to maintain it.”
Bachelot has served in several key positions within the government of France. A member of the UMP party, she served as Minister for the Environment, Minister for Health and Sports, and Minister of Social Affairs before becoming the Minister of Culture in 2020, a role that ended in 2022. She briefly served in the European Union parliament representing the West of France (2004-2007).