Barely a day goes by without some new crisis hitting France’s embattled President Jacques Chirac — and “Being Jacques Chirac,” mockumentary making its world market preem today , is the latest of his woes.
The Cannes Film Festival didn’t want the pic, nor did any of France’s broadcasters, said Yves Darondeau of Bonne Pioche, which produced the film as well as last year’s international docu hit “March of the Penguins.”
“In France we don’t mind films about Berlusconi or Bush but when it comes to our own president, that’s another matter,” said the producer.
Eventually, low-budget pic got made with coin from indie Rezo, which is handling the film internationally and distributing it theatrically in France, and Warner Home Video in France.
Pic directed by TV satirist Karl Zero — France’s answer to Jon Stewart — takes footage of Chirac from the early days of his career through to the present day and splices it together to highly comic effect.
Most of the time, Chirac’s own words are the source of the humor, with a Chirac sound-alike voice-over filling in the gaps.
“Chirac has been followed by a camera for 40 years so there was a wealth of archive footage to choose from,” said Darondeau.
The Renseignements Generaux — France’s FBI — called up asking when the film would be screening in Cannes, but Darondeau said the president himself has yet to see it, to the best of his knowledge.
“We’ve had no requests from the Elysees Palace,” said Darondeau.