Protest Over French Film

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written to the French Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, to express his concerns about the the showing of the inter-Celtic flag in a new French film about the life of a far right political activist in France.

The GS argues in the letter that:

“The inclusion of this flag – which is a well known internationally recognised symbol of inter-Celtic solidarity – in a bar in the film where a racially motivated crime is clearly taking place, and the association that is being made between the political extremism of the films protagonists and the nations the flag represents, is totally unacceptable.”

The film Un Français is due to be released on Wednesday 10th June, but the film has attracted such controversy that only a handful of cinemas in France have agreed to show it over fear of reprisals. In Breizh/Brittany the League has been informed that the only cinema that is willing to show the film is at the Pathé Gaumont cinema, Roazhon/Rennes. The full text of the letter written by the GS is set out below.

Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication
Fleur PELLERIN
Paris
France
point-culture [ à ] culture.gouv.fr
07/06/15

Dear Minister Fleur Pellerin

Release of film Un Français

I am writing to express my concern about the film, Un Français, that is due to be released in cinema’s next Wednesday.

I have not seen the film and have only viewed the trailer, but I am aware that the film traces a 30 year period in the often violent life of a man with extreme right wing political views. Regardless of the artistic merits of the film, my concern stems from the clearly visible presence on the wall in a bar of an inter-Celtic flag in one of the shots of the film trailer.

The inclusion of this flag – which is a well known internationally recognised symbol of inter-Celtic solidarity – in a bar in the film where a racially motivated crime is clearly taking place, and the association that is being made between the political extremism of the films protagonists and the nations the flag represents, is totally unacceptable.

I am aware that there has already been heavy criticism of the film for reasons that are unassociated with the inclusion of the inter-Celtic flag, but the particular argument that I am making here is more pertinent than any other that is being forwarded, due to its international implications, including the flag’s association with a number of inter-Celtic festivals, such as Gouelioù Etrekeltiek An Oriant/Festival Interceltique de Lorient and the Celtic Media festival.

As the General Secretary of the Celtic League I request that the flag is removed from any scene in the film and any other connotation that is made between such extreme political view points and the Celtic nations or Celtic nationalism. I have been informed that the film will be released in a small number of cinemas only on Wednesday 10th June, which is unfortunately probably too late for any changes to be made in time for that particular screening. However, future screenings of the film should be delayed until this matter is resolved. I am under the impression that Un Français received large amounts of public funding to be made (as are other French films) and as such the content should be held up to public scrutiny, if it is deemed upsetting, which it evidently is for people internationally.

I am further aware that the Director of the film, Philippe Lioret, has made and has attempted to make politically controversial comments and associations in his previous releases towards the Breton people, with some of these being understandably censored, because of their provocative intent. It is my view – and indeed the view of many members in my organisation – that Lioret is being deliberately provocative with the inclusion of the inter-Celtic flag in this scene and is making an unnecessary political comment on the views of those who work towards greater inter-Celtic cooperation.

Yours faithfully

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League

CC Philippe Lioret

(Article submitted for Celtic News by the General secretary, Rhisiart Talebot)

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

08/06/15

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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