Jodie Foster: “The perfect feminist film is Portrait of the Girl on Fire!”

Jodie Foster: "The perfect feminist film is Portrait of the Girl on Fire!"
Premiere / Metropolitan FilmExport / Pyramide Distribution

The actress turns less, but she still loves French cinema as much.

Update of September 7, 2021: Two years after its theatrical release, Portrait of the girl on fire is broadcast for the first time in clear, this Wednesday on Arte, and already available in replay on the channel’s website (and this until September 14th). Already cult or almost, Céline Sciamma’s feature film has had a resounding impact with moviegoers around the world. Jodie Foster told us about it recently, during the promotion of Designated Guilty. The film worn by Adèle Haenel and Nomie Merlant is quite simply his latest crush from France.

Jodie Foster: why she is becoming rarer as an actress

Here are three questions for Jodie Foster.

First: With Designated guilty, the link you have with French cinema continues thanks to your collaboration with Tahar Rahim…
Jodie Foster: When I knew that Tahar was going to play Mohamedou, I literally jumped for joy: a prophet is a major film. On set, Shailene [Woodley] and I savored every moment the honor of being in the same room as Tahar during his scenes. This is what I like most about this acting profession: witnessing and supporting such performances.

What are your latest favorites French ?
Portrait of the girl on fire ! An instant classic. A masterful response to male gauze. The proof that another look is possible on women, on love stories between women. I sometimes do master classes in film schools and I often offer an exercise that I love. Choose a very good but very misogynistic film and have the students rewrite it telling the same story, but with women in the main characters. To understand a posteriori how the director diverted this film towards unnecessary misogyny. These exchanges are fascinating and it is a concrete way of practicing feminism. But for me the perfect feminist movie is Portrait of the girl on fire !

You are not only a spectator of French films, you have also played a major role in the career of Hate by being very active when the film was distributed in the United States …

People often ask me which movie I’m most proud of. Well it is The Hatred ! The only film where I didn’t do anything except help to make it known [lire page 23]. Here is another work that has changed the lives of many people I know, because they were not aware that what Hate tells existed in France.
Interview by Thierry Cheze

The full interview can be found in the new issue of Première. Here is its illustrated summary.

Contents of Première n ° 515: Jodie Foster, Carole Bouquet, In therapy, Neil Gaiman, Paul Greengrass …

The story of Designated guilty : Captured by the US government, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) has been held for years in Guantánamo, without trial or charge. At the end of his rope, he discovers two unexpected allies: lawyer Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and his collaborator Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley). With tenacity, the two women will confront the relentless system in the name of fair justice. Their controversial plea, along with the evidence uncovered by the formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Col. Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), will eventually unmask a conspiracy as vast as it is scandalous.
The incredible true story of a fierce fight for survival and human rights.

Trailer :

Jodie Foster: “It’s as if my whole life as an actress had been my film school”

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