One of the sad omissions in the upcoming Cannes Film Festival line-up is director Claire Denis. Many were hoping that her upcoming film “High Life” would have its premiere at the festival, but unfortunately, the film just isn’t ready yet and will save its premiere for later this year. However, Denis recently gave an interview to the Guardian, and while she covers a great deal about her filmography, the director also discusses one of the biggest hot-button issues in Hollywood – the #MeToo movement.
When Denis was asked about her thoughts on making films about the relationships between men and women during the recent social debate, the filmmaker said, “That’s a discussion that’s only being had in rich countries. The world is not just the United States and Europe. It’s a debate of spoiled children. I couldn’t care less about the [Harvey] Weinstein affair – it hasn’t changed anything for women.”
She continues the discussion by saying that the interviewer asked her “a bourgeois question. Egyptian or Yemeni women don’t give a damn about Weinstein. They have to deal with bombs, they don’t have running water in their kitchens, they get raped in buses.”
While this may seem a bit harsh, Denis was raised in Africa, living in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, French Somaliland, and Senegal, due to her father being a civil servant. With her background, it provides her a unique perspective on political issues, which can be seen throughout her films. When she was asked how that background influences her views on Weinstein, she says, “There are no more rapes in Africa than in France. On the contrary. I never met a Harvey Weinstein in Africa.”
She finishes the interview with a commentary on what she thinks of people dissecting her work. Being the strong-willed and opinionated women she is, her answer is clear. “If there are theories about me, I’d rather not know. Astrophysics – now that’s fascinating. String theory, wormholes, the expanding universe, the Big Bang versus the Big Bounce – those are the kind of theories that make you feel like living and understanding the mystery of the world. Film theory is just a pain in the ass,” concludes Denis.
So, unless you want to talk about the real issues, Denis would rather you just leave her alone.