Dominique Strauss-Kahn movie due to start filming

12:33 • 31.08.12

Just as lawyers prepare a New York civil suit against Dominique Strauss-Kahn over the alleged attempted rape of New York hotel worker, the arts world is trying to make sense of France's biggest political sex scandal in an array of films, plays and bestselling books, The Guardian reports.


Neither the script nor title of a much-talked-about DSK feature film by Bad Lieutenant director Abel Ferrara has been finalised, but shooting is about to begin in New York, Washington and Paris, and the French media are poring over what it might entail. DSK, a one-time presidential hopeful and head of the International Monetary Fund, has been a political pariah in France since his arrest in New York last year over the alleged attempted rape of an immigrant hotel worker, Nafissatou Diallo.


Charges were dropped over "substantial credibility issues" with the alleged victim, but Strauss-Kahn returned to France to face charges of "aggravated pimping in an organised gang" in a case in Lille in which sex workers were allegedly procured for orgies. The inquiry has been extended to examine alleged group rape over the question of whether one sex worker was forced. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers argue he did not know the women were paid. He denies any violence.


Isabelle Adjani, who is to star as Strauss-Kahn's multimillionaire journalist wife, Anne Sinclair, in the Ferrara film, has been all over French media this week, promising the movie would not shirk the toughest elements of the tale.


"It will be the behind-closed-doors view of a couple swept up by torment," she told the Journal du Dimanche. "It will be exciting because we've got a director who isn't French at the helm and he'll go where it hurts. With him, there's no risk of political correctness."


She told Canal Plus she would not "put on 10kg" to look like Sinclair and Gerard Depardieu, who is to play DSK, would not dye his hair grey.


Depardieu had told Swiss TV: "I'm going to play Dominique Strauss-Kahn because I don't like him." He said the Socialist was "arrogant", "unlikeable" and therefore possible to play.


From the Paris theatre scene to this month's Edinburgh fringe, plays have already focused on the DSK affair and his relationship with Sinclair, who has since separated from him. An investigation into the couple's relationship and lifestyle was one of the biggest non-fiction bestsellers in France this summer.


A novel by the French author Stéphane Zagdanski, called Chaos Brûlant (Burning Chaos), retells the New York case through the eyes of patients in a Manhattan psychiatric centre. Linda Fairstein, a former chief of the sex crimes unit in Manhattan, made the New York Times bestseller list with a thriller, Night Watch, inspired by the case, after the US TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ran its own DSK-inspired episode.


Tristane Banon, in whose case prosecutors found prima facie evidence of her having experienced a sexual assault by Strauss-Kahn, although the alleged attack had passed the time limit, published a "novelisation" of a sex attack by a veteran politician she called the baboon.


A similar range of stage and screen takes came after the 1990s corruption scandal at the French oil giant Elf, inlcuding Claude Chabrol's dark thriller, A Comedy of Power, in which Isabelle Huppert played a vengeful magistrate loosely modelled on the prosecutor Eva Joly.

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