Gérard Depardieu has significantly shaped international experiences of French film over the past generation. His recent departure from France has triggered a series of reflections on his impact on French cinema and French identity.
Film critic Richard Brody argues that Depardieu “really does seem to bear on his shoulders the burden of French history, and it’s his very ability to signify something essentially French to the French that has both made him such a favorite actor among audiences and auteurs alike—and that’s why his planned fiscal self-exile has become such a big national affaire. But the public display of his frustrations, resentments, and pleasures is built on the superb work that he has done onscreen in movies that are enduring classics.”
Richard Brody offers a reflection on Depardieu’s significance in the New Yorker.