The French actress Emmanuelle Béart (Gassin, 60 years old), protagonist of iconic films of European cinema such as The Beautiful Liar (Jacques Rivette, 1991), A Heart in Winter (Claude Sautet, 1999) or Eight Women (François Ozon, 2002) and Hollywood productions such as Mission Impossible (Brian de Palma, 1996), reveals in a documentary co-directed by her that she was a victim of incest when she was a child. The interpreter does not identify her abuser, although the co-director, Anastasia Mikova, clarified this Tuesday at the press conference presenting the film in Paris that she was not her father, the singer-songwriter Guy Béart. The film will be screened on September 24 on the French television channel M6.
At the press conference, in which Béart was not present, although she did send a video message, Mikova explained that the actress does not name her abuser because that is not “the focus of the film.” The documentary, called Un silence si bruyant (A Silence So Resonant), includes the stories of four victims of incest, as well as Béart’s own contribution. In her video message, Béart explains that she initially didn’t want to talk about herself, only about other incest victims. “But her honesty and her courage made me want to talk too,” she clarified.
The incest began when Béart was 10 years old and continued until she was 14, the actress said. In the documentary, her voice is heard off-screen telling her abuser: “Since my father, my mother and my friends didn’t notice anything, you could start over. And you did it, for four years.” She was “saved” by her grandmother, Béart said. “It is not a settling of accounts,” the director clarified during the presentation.
Béart’s testimony joins others who have hit the French intellectual and cultural elite in recent years with cases of abuse of minors. At the end of 2019, the editor Vanessa Springora shook the Parisian literary world with the publication of El Consentimiento, where she denounced the case of pedophilia of which she was a victim when she was 14 years old, and her attacker, the writer Gabriel Matzneff, 50, with the connivance of the entire intellectual world of the time.
In 2021, the jurist Camille Kouchner, daughter of the former socialist minister and co-founder of Doctors Without Borders Bernard Kouchner and the political scientist and “icon of the left” Évelyne Pisier, revealed in The Big Family that her twin brother was a victim from the age of 13 of sexual abuse by his stepfather, the constitutionalist Olivier Duhamel, another regular figure on the French political and media scene. In fact, according to the newspaper Le Monde, which has access to the documentary, the actress reveals that it was reading her book that led her to take a step forward and tell her own story. “Emmanuelle didn’t want to make a star confession alone on camera; She wanted a useful, necessary approach, a collective, choral film. At first, she didn’t even want to appear on screen! “, the director tells the Parisian newspaper.
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