Cannes: Gerard Depardieu Deems Dominique Strauss-Kahn Film 'Shakespearean Tragedy'

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Gerard Depardieu

"It is all about money, sex and power," the French actor said about the fictional depiction of the DSK sexual assault case.

Abel Ferrara's Welcome to New York, the director's lightly fictionalized depiction of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case, didn't get an official Cannes berth this year.

But the film, starring Gerard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset, played to a packed house on Carlton Beach on Friday night, where French producer-distributor Wild Bunch held a special VOD screening of the film for journalists. The screening was timed to the VOD release of Welcome to New York in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Wild Bunch chose a VOD-only bow for the film, a rarity for such a high-profile title.

CANNES REVIEW: Welcome to New York

Noise from the Croisette outside and booming music from a beach party next door occasionally distracted from the action onscreen, a blow-by-blow depiction of Strauss-Kahn -- here for legal reasons referred to as "Mr. Devereaux" -- as he assaults a hotel maid, is arrested and taken through the New York legal system.

Despite the graphic sex scenes, the film is a largely balanced portrait of DSK, depicting the former head of the IMF as an egotistical sex addict and would-be rapist but not an inhuman monster. It leaves no doubt, however, to his guilt and even suggests he got off by means of bribery.

In a press conference following the screening, Depardieu called the film "a Shakespearean tragedy" that was "all about money, sex and power" and "the puppets who play games with money."

The film's producer, Vincent Maraval, said he had not yet heard any reaction from the Strauss-Khan family.

"I don't think they've seen the film yet, so I expect they will be paying us seven euros to download the film and watch it," he said.