Brigitte Bardot Now: Accusations of Racism + Biggest French Hit Ever?

by Andre Soares

Brigitte Bardot now: Accusations of 'racism' as anti-Muslim letter leads to lawsuit

Next round of movie icon Brigitte Bardot vs. Muslims. No, Bardot's animosity has nothing to do with a planned Algerian-made sex melodrama called And Allah Created Woman. Bardot, like millions of others in France and elsewhere, apparently just doesn't like Muslims, period.

The star of Roger Vadim's …And God Created Woman and Louis Malle's Contempt is currently on trial for the fifth time since the mid-1990s for “inciting racial hatred” due to recent controversial remarks she made about Islam and its adherents, five million of whom live in France. (Free speech laws in France are clearly less encompassing than in some other countries.) French anti-racist groups filed a complaint following comments Brigitte Bardot made in a letter to right-wing French president Nicolas Sarkozy about the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, in which a sheep or some other domestic animal is usually sacrificed. (Sounds like the American Thanksgiving turkey slaughter ritual.)

Brigitte Bardot 'racist' letter: Anti-Muslim sentiment

In reference to Muslims, Bardot wrote that she was “fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts.” The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, whose stated aim is the protection of animal rights, later made the letter public.

Prosecutors have asked that the Paris court hand the 73-year-old actress a two-month suspended prison sentence and fine her 15,000 euros (approx. US$23,000).

Bardot did not attend the trial claiming illness. A verdict is expected within the next several weeks.

Brigitte Bardot, by the way, may not be just an anti-Muslim bigot. She has also attacked gays, immigrants, and the unemployed. But not all is lost. She is an avowed lover of animals.

Brigitte Bardot movies

Besides the aforementioned …And God Created Woman (1956), with Jean-Louis Trintignant, and Contempt (1963), with Jack Palance, among the most notable Brigitte Bardot movies are Claude Autant-Lara's Love Is My Profession / En cas de malheur (1958), with Jean Gabin and Edwige Feuillère; Babette Goes to War / Babette s'en va-t-en guerre (1959), with Jacques Charrier and Ronald Howard; and Henri-Georges Clouzot's Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nominee The Truth / La vérité (1960), with Paul Meurisse and Charles Vanel.

Welcome to the Sticks Dany Boon Kad Merad
Welcome to the Sticks with Kad Merad and Dany Boon.

'Welcome to the Sticks' box-office: Breaks record in France

Welcome to the Sticks / Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis (literally, “Welcome to the Land of the Ch'tis”), a comedy focusing on French regional stereotypes, has been seen by more than 17.4 French moviegoers since its Feb. 27 release. According to an Agence France Presse report, that makes Welcome to the Sticks the most successful French production in history – in ticket sales, the true measure of a film's popularity – surpassing the 1966 Louis de Funès comedy La grande vadrouille, which sold 17.3 million tickets.

If ticket sales remain strong, Welcome to the Sticks will end up surpassing James Cameron's 1997 romantic disaster-epic Titanic (20.7 million entries), which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, to become the most successful movie ever at the French box office.

Dany Boon: 'Welcome to the Sticks' director, co-screenwriter, actor, and Ch'ti native

Welcome to the Sticks was directed by two-time (acting) César nominee Dany Boon – himself a Ch'ti – who also co-wrote the film's screenplay with Alexandre Charlot and Franck Magnier. Boon is also one of the film's stars, along with Kad Merad.

The plot is simple enough: Following orders from his bosses, a southerner (Kad Merad) moves to the Nord Pas de Calais region bordering Belgium. He's not happy at first, but once he's able to communicate with the locals – who speak an impossible-to-understand French dialect – he discovers that the Ch'tis are a kind-hearted bunch after all.

So far, Welcome to the Sticks, which cost 11 million euros (approximately US$17 million), has grossed 99 million euros (approx. US$153 million).

The origins of the nickname 'Ch'ti'

As per the AFP report, the nickname “'Ch'ti' emerged during World War I when soldiers from the region were teased by comrades about their prononciation [sic] of ch'est ti, ch'est mi instead of c'est toi, c'est moi (it's you, it's me).”

Dany Boon and Kad Merad in Welcome to the Sticks / Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis photo: Pathé Distribution.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

IMPORTANT: By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by Alt Film Guide. Also, *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped. And finally, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

5 comments

Brandon Noble -

The Government of France is anti-free speech. Ms. Bardot has the right to her opinion, and she has the right to that opinion whether it's offensive or not. The practice of cruelly slaughtering an animal should not be shielded from criticism just because it's part of some religion. Bardot has every right to protest against that. She should be allowed to do so using any language she chooses. Whether or not the words she expresses herself with are hateful or not is irrelevant. She should have the right to use those words, whatever they are, and whether or not they hurt someone's feelings. No one should have the right to be protected against having their feelings hurt. If Bardot said something bigoted, the correct antidote is for other people to use their free speech to point that out and to rebut her. Legally compelling people to shut up is never the answer.

And to the person below who claimed, “Free speech does not mean free insults,” actually it does. Any country that guarantees free speech must guarantee that speech whether it's nice or whether it's mean, whether it's loving, or whether it's hateful. We don't get to choose who gets free speech or what they get to say. If we do, it's not free speech by definition. “Insult” is a very subjective term. You could twist almost anything into an insult. The fact that France has banned insults makes it a country without free speech. Free speech is for the entire population, not just for those we approve of or those who keep their language nice. It's appalling that a country that has pushed the sexual barriers in film for years would block the free speech of one of the very actresses who participated in that sexual liberation.

France is an anti-free speech country. It should legalize free speech.

Reply
Liz Glover -

The comment you made that sheep slaughtered in the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice are much like turkeys before Thanksgiving shows your lack of knowledge on this topic. I suggest you and your readers Google - “Animal cruelty in Gaza, Festival of Sacrifice” and you will see the difference between the two.

Reply
Andre -

May I also suggest doing an online search for “turkey slaughter thanksgiving cruelty” (without the quotes).

Reply
Osama -

Interesting how this article is soooo not biased against muslims. Funny how th eauthor had to add in 'millions of others' also dislike muslims. On whose statistics?
Could it be that they are Jewish/Christian, that they may not like muslims…at the end of the day who cares? 60 million Germans didn't like Jews in WW2, probably still don't….
Like the dig at French fee speech laws not protecting Bardot….
Its been said before so I'll say it again:

FREE SPEECH DOES NOT MEAN FREE INSULTS!

Rubbish article, its neautrality must be questioned.

Reply
Andre -

You totally misread my piece.
My point is that there are millions of anti-Muslim *bigots* out there. Just like there are millions of anti-Jewish bigots, anti-Hindu bigots, anti-gay bigots, anti-this, anti-that bigots. I don't think one needs a book of statistics to know that's the case. Tribalism still rules everywhere, and “anti-other” has always been a popular stance among tribal groups of every stripe.
As for the meaning of free speech …
Well, there were people who felt insulted by “The Da Vinci Code.” Should that be banned? There were people who felt insulted by “Brokeback Mountain.” Should that be banned? There are people who felt insulted by “The Satanic Verses.” Should that be banned? There are people who felt insulted by “Song of the South.” Should that be banned?
If we are going to ban or fine everyone and everything who dares to say, write, produce, create something “insulting” to some group or other, just about nothing will be allowed.

Reply

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Read More