In The (French) News: The Depardieu Saga

A while back I was telling you about  65 yr old French actor Gérard Depardieu seeking exile in Belgium to avoid paying France’s new high taxes on the rich.

Well, the story continues.

Following the controversy his move brought about, France’s prime minister’s Ayrault’s did not have nice words for the deserting actor. Depardieu, “sickened”, announced he was relinquishing his French citizenship. He later asked for a Russian passport, which Putin gave him Saturday. The actor even wrote a poem full of enthusiasm his new country of adoption:

«J’adore votre pays la Russie, ses hommes, son histoire, ses écrivains. J’aime y faire des films où j’aime tourner avec vos acteurs comme Vladimir Mashkov. J’adore votre culture, votre intelligence. Mon père était un communiste de l’époque, il écoutait Radio Moscou! C’est aussi cela ma culture. En Russie il y fait bon vivre. (…) Au bord des forêts de bouleaux, je m’y sens bien. Et je vais apprendre le russe.


«Que dans un pays aussi grand on n’est jamais seul,
Car chaque arbre, chaque paysage portent en nous un espoir.
Il n’y a pas de mesquinerie en Russie, il n’y a que des grands sentiments.
Et derrière ces sentiments beaucoup de pudeur.
Dans votre immensité, je ne me sens jamais seul, Slova Rossii!!»

“I love your country Russia, its men, its history, its writers. I like to make movies there, where I enjoy shooting with your actors such as Vladimir Mashkov. I love your culture, your intelligence. My father was a communist in his day, he listened to Radio Moscou! And that is also my own culture. In Russia life is good. (…) At the edge or birch forests, I feel good. And I will learn Russian.


“In such a big country, one may never be alone,
Because in each tree, each landscape carry hope for us.
There is no pettiness in Russia, only great sentiments.
And behind these sentiments, a lot of modesty.
Within your vastness, I never feel loney, Slova Rossii!!”

… and continues:

At which point 78 yr old French actress Brigitte Bardot, inspired by her colleague, threatened in turn to also move to Russia. In her case, however, money is not the motive. Rather, two endangered sick elephants the government has decided to euthanize. She says:

 “Si ceux qui ont le pouvoir ont la lâcheté et l’impudence de tuer les deux éléphantes Baby et Népal, malgré les nombreuses propositions envoyées par ma Fondation, reconnue d’utilité publique, pour les sauver et restées lettre morte, j’ai pris la décision de demander la nationalité russe afin de fuir ce pays qui n’est plus qu’un cimetière d’animaux.” 

“If those in power have the cowardliness and the impudence of killing the two elephants Baby and Népal, despite my Foundation, recognized to be in the public’s interest, having sent them many unanswered proposals to save the animals, I have taken the decision to ask for the Russian citizenship in order to flee from this country which has become nothing but an animal cemetery.”   

… and continues:

Now, Depardieu was offered a house and the title of Culture Minister in Mordovia! He has now flown there to receive his choice of house or apartment, and was greeted as a hero (he however declined the job).

… and continues:

The latest move comes from France’s green party, the group Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV), who, in response, asked that members of the Russian feminist band Pussy Riot be made honorary citizen of Paris. They were incarcerated following an anti-Putin song in February. Sylvain Garel, EELV’s co-president, declared:

“Aller s’acoquiner avec Vladimir Poutine, c’est une honte!”

“To go team up with (get mixed up with, go to bed with) Vladimir Putin is a shame!”

There is, in fact, a funny collage circulating on Facebook regarding this latest twist:


It reads: Mr. Putin, send us these three… we’ll send you those three. (Shown below are Depardieu, Bardot and singer Mireille Mathieu).

What’s next?

What do you think of this saga? I’d love to read your take on this.

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