French helmers denounce attack on crix

Blier, Varda call row 'pointless'

PARIS — A long list of French film directors Monday distanced themselves from a crusade against French critics accused of panning homegrown films.

In a scathing outburst recently, an army of irate filmmakers, led by Patrice Leconte, signed a petition claiming that critics deliberately set out to trash their films before audiences could judge for themselves.

Leconte blamed the worst excesses on the left-leaning daily newspapers Le Monde and Liberation and the listings magazine Telerama.

In Monday’s Liberation newspaper, directors Bertrand Blier and Agnes Varda were among 63 fellow filmmakers who declared: “We are not in support. We never signed the petition. We think it is a pointless debate.”

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