PARIS — Actress Jane Birkin and producer Paolo Branco on Tuesday rallied to defend pic “This Is My Body” after its biblical title was attacked in court by a right-wing religious group.
The General Alliance Against Racism and for the Respect of the French Christian Identity asked a Paris high court for an injunction against publicity posters for the film, due to be released Aug. 29, arguing they would “cause a disturbance” because the title is inspired by the words of the communion service.
The Alliance did not complain about the content of helmer Rodolphe Marconi’s low-budget second film, about a young man who rejects his family’s values as he is drawn into the movie world.
“It’s incredible. These people are against the title of the film, not what’s in it,” Branco, whose Gemini Films plans to release it on 40 screens, told Daily Variety. “It is shocking that they want to appropriate the words of the Bible, and I hope they lose their case.”
Birkin, who plays a film director in the pic, added: “All the best titles are from Shakespeare or the Bible. I can’t imagine what prompted such a humorless and silly gesture.”
In the past, the Alliance has launched legal actions against Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” and Jean-Luc Godard’s “Je vous salue, Marie” (Hail Mary).
Pic caused no controversy when it was screened earlier this year in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Intl. Film Festival.
The Paris judge will render her verdict on Thursday.