Film inspired by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair launched amid vulgar hype and legal doubts

Printed invitations to a midnight beach party in Cannes thrown by the movie’s producers were marked 'oral satisfaction guaranteed'

Sex toys and condoms were among the gifts given to guests at the premiere of a film inspired by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair  in Cannes.

Printed invitations to a midnight beach party in Cannes thrown by the movie’s producers were marked “oral satisfaction guaranteed”. Guests were handed a “Dirty Sex Kit” (DSK, get it?) containing a whip, handcuffs and a condom. They were encouraged to spray one another with water pistols containing fake sperm.

The film, Welcome to New York, starring a gargantuan and stark-naked Gérard Depardieu, was launched on the fringes of the Cannes film festival. Contrary to the advance indications of its producers, it appears to take sides in the controversy over the rape charges brought against Mr Strauss-Kahn in New York in 2011.

Read more: Welcome to New York review

The main character, called “Mr Devereux” is seen to attack a hotel chambermaid just after taking part in two orgies with prostitutes. Since the charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn were later dropped, the former International Monetary Fund chief’s lawyers were reported yesterday to be considering legal action.

Lawyers representing Mr Strausss-Kahn’s ex-wife, Anne Sinclair, were also reported to have studied the movie. The film has a scene in which the main character’s wife, “Simone”, played by Jacqueline Bisset, is accused of belonging to a French Jewish family which made a fortune from Second World War. Ms Sinclair’s family were wealthy but had property stolen during the war.

Ms Sinclair, editor of the French version of the Huffington Post news website took the unusual step last night, however of commenting on the film on her own site.

“I don’t attack filth, I spit it out,” she wrote.

First reviews by French and American movie critics praised Mr Depardieu’s acting, expressed revulsion at the sight of his naked body and objected to the film’s mingling of fact and speculation. New York police officers who helped investigate the “DSK affair” play themselves in the film, directed by Abel Ferrara. The Manhattan apartment used by Ms Sinclair while her husband was in custody, was also used in the film.

Steven Zeitchik in the LA Times said: “Whatever one’s feelings about the polarising figure (of DSK), there’s a bit of a difference between forming a personal opinion based on available evidence and making and distributing a movie asserting ironclad conclusions.”

Isabelle Regnier in Le Monde described Welcome to New York as a “great but sick film”.

“It is a film just as grotesque and suicidal as its main character, in which magnificent scenes alternate with clumsy ones,” she wrote. The baseless allegations against  Ms Sinclair’s Jewish family smacked of anti-semitism, she continued, and made the movie “indefensible”.

At a press conference,  Mr Depardieu  said: “The thought of (DSK) was at the back of my mind all the time. {But] the whole point was absolutely not to be like him. I was never to look like him or sound like him.”

The film, although produced by Wild Bunch, a French company, was mostly financed in the US. It counts therefore as an American movie – possibly the first French-speaking American film ever made.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable