The film "Welcome to New York" wasn't an official selection for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. But that's not stopping the Dominique Strauss-Kahn-inspired picture from grabbing headlines.
The film, which premiered Saturday night in the town of Cannes, stars Gerard Depardieu as a French banker who sexually assaults a woman. (Via Wild Bunch / "Welcome to New York")
Media outlets agree the character is based on Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The New York Times describes the film as "barely fictionalized." (Via Los Angeles Times, BBC)
The former official was arrested in New York in 2011 after a hotel housekeeper said Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her. Those charges have since been dropped, although Strauss-Kahn is currently facing charges in France for allegations he was involved in a prostitution ring. (Via The Telegraph)
And thanks to the film, we could see Strauss-Kahn in court again, but on a different side of things. One of his lawyers says his client will file for defamation.
Although Strauss-Kahn has yet to speak publicly about the film, his lawyer reminded reporters a New York prosecutor cleared Strauss-Kahn of the sexual assault accusations. (Via New York Daily News)
The Independent reports his lawyer described the film as "a dog dropping," saying it has an "anti-semitic [sic] side."
The movie was directed by Abel Ferrara, an American. The BBC reports he responded to the news, saying: "[Strauss-Kahn] is not the only guy who got caught in a situation like this. Let my lawyer talk to his lawyer."
Although the team behind the film says it was inspired by a widely reported court case, Depardieu said in a press conference it's a more universal story.
The Hollywood Reporter says, "Depardieu called the film 'a Shakespearean tragedy' that was 'all about money, sex and power' and 'the puppets who play games with money.'"
Another character in the tragedy is Strauss-Kahn's ex-wife, Anne Sinclair. Many say she's also depicted in "Welcome to New York." She voiced her disgust for the film in The Huffington Post.
The party surrounding the film has raised concern, too. Bathrobes were given as party favors, possibly a reference to what Strauss-Kahn was wearing at the time of the alleged assault.
France 24 says, "The scene my source described would have been too outrageous to believe if she hadn't shown me the photos to prove it," adding the party "largely overshadow[ed] the film itself."
The film will not be shown in theaters in France. Instead, it's now available on pay-per-view. It will be in the U.S. later this year.