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Gérard Depardieu revises his position on Putin, angering the Kremlin

Gérard Depardieu at the El Gouna Film Festival, in Egypt, on October 24, 2020.

Aware that Gérard Depardieu’s displayed friendship with Vladimir Poutine could compromise the show Depardieu sings Barbara, planned three evenings in a row, from Friday 1er on Sunday April 3, the direction of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, in Paris, had asked the actor to take a clear position against the war. At the beginning of March, the theater of Antibes (Alpes-Maritimes) had canceled its two recital evenings, arguing the difficulty “to play such a beautiful and sensitive spectacle in the current warlike circumstances”.

Long remained silent on the issue, while promoting the films in which he currently plays, the close friend of the Kremlin chief finally broke the silence by contacting AFP by telephone, a week after the start of hostilities. He called to “stop arms and negotiate”. In the press release published Thursday evening, March 31, the day before the start of the recital, the actor, who has had a Russian passport since 2013, continues: “The Russian people are not responsible for the mad and unacceptable excesses of their leaders like Vladimir Putin. » And agrees to donate “all proceeds from the three concerts to the Ukrainian victims of this tragic fratricidal war”.

Before the doors of the theater open on Friday evening, the public, who are patient in the freezing cold, welcome the gesture of the actor. “Let’s stop bothering him now. We come to see the artist, the rest is his problem,” brushes off an old man in a fur coat who does not wish to give his name. At the top of the stairs, a young woman holds up a sign in the hope of buying a place, the show being sold out for the three evenings. Romanian, she says that Depardieu’s friendships with dictators do not “don’t bother”. And believes that the release “shows that he has understood something. He is intelligent “. “I hope that the public will not whistle”, slips a woman to the man who accompanies her, when the doors open and the public joins the room.

Particular resonance

No whistles, but loud applause greet the 73-year-old artist, short of breath and not slow. They punctuate the show where Depardieu performs songs by the one who was his friend, accompanied on the piano by his faithful musician, Gérard Daguerre. The war in Ukraine will only be mentioned furtively, Gérard Depardieu modifying a couplet of Goettingen to evoke the suffering of the children of the martyred city of Mariupol, an initiative hailed by cheers from part of the public. Some songs evoking human tragedies, like Black Sun Where Perlimpinpin, take on a particular resonance – “Because a child who cries whether he is from anywhere is a child who cries / Because a child who dies at the end of your guns is a child who dies / How abominable to have to choose between two innocences . »

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