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March 8, 2021

Depardieu opposes to screening of “Convicted to Live”

The Romanian film starring the great French actor and Harvey Keitel has not even been projected and it’s already at the heart of a scandal.

Angry with the Romanian producer Family Film changing from marketing reasons the ending to ”Convicted to Life”, the film adaptation of Titus Popovici’s novella “The Death of Ipu”, starring  French actor Gerard Depardieu, who has the lead role, the French actor warned he would not allow the film, to be released in its revised form. The Romanian producer and the film’s director Bogdan Dreyer hold joint ownership rights to the novella on which the film is based. According to Depardieu, Director Bogdan Dreyer and actor Harvey Keitel, who also stars in the film, are just as revolved as the French actor is. Also, Bogdan Dreyer, who collaborated to the script with Anusavan Salamanian, no longer appears as a co-screenwriter of the film in the producer’s release to the press. Gérard Depardieu’s open letter to the Romanian public reads as follows: “I won’t accept compromises; I won’t let anyone push me around!” More than a year ago, I accepted to star in “Convicted to Life”, a Romanian film directed by Bogdan Dreyer, based on a story written by Titus Popovici and made into a script by Anusavan Salamanian and Bogdan Dreyer, I was instantly fascinated by it and the main character, Ipu, who I was glad to play. I felt fine in Romania, it’s a hospitable country, I enjoyed working with the Romanian actors, who are good professionals, and I liked the end-product quite a lot. Later on however, when I learned that the producers reedited the film, at the request of an American distributor (I won’t give any names), who wanted the original ending changed into a Hollywood-style happy-end, and some film cuts, in order to make it into an action film of the “DVD package” or “pay TV” type – although the original story and script are quite poetic and the ending inevitably emphasizes the film’s message. We won’t recognize and we flatly reject the revised version of the film including the changed ending. I also speak in the name of the film’s director, Bogdan Dreyer, and my fellow actor Harvey Keitel, who is just as revolted about this manipulation. Furthermore, rumor spread about my attending the film’s premiere, which is untrue. I will be glad to attend the film premiere, yet of the genuine film I accepted to play in, and not an illegally edited version; since, the producer has not bought the screen to this day and Bogdan Dreyer and I still hold the copyrights. Thus: I won’t give my consent to the film being shown in any other form than the original! I follow your cinematography closely and hold it in high esteem, and we shouldn’t forget that we are and remain Europeans, we have our culture, and the Americans theirs, each with their stuff. Wish I had done an American film, I would have gone straight to the USA, not Romania. I therefore hope the matter will be solved, which is stalling a valuable film. I take this opportunity to greet the Romanian actors alongside whom I played in this film, with the youngest of them all, Bogdan Iancu, first and foremost.”In his turn, Bogdan Dreyer, the film’s director, said he would try to block in court the film’s release on the market.

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