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Depardieu in Israel

by: Merav Yudilovitch, Ynetnews - Last updated: 2005-05-30

Gerald Depardieu

Gerald Depardieu

French actor Gerard Depardieu slammed the American film industry on Sunday as he arrived in Israel to promote his new comedy "I prefer that we remain friends" at the Moments of French Cinema Film Festival.

Depardieu, who has appeared in numerous American films, did not hold back his criticism of Hollywood.

"There are very few interesting American productions, and most of them are independent," he said during a press conference held at David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv.

"The American industry slowly killed cinema and transformed into one long B-flick, apart from a few that are making movies of a different kind, such as Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood. Working on an American set is just like working on any other, only more boring," Depardieu said. 

The French actor, who last visited the country in 1987, also gave his take on the local movie scene.

"You, the Israelis, portray a different culture in your films, while we in the French cinema stand in the shadow of the American cinema,” he said.

Depardieu, who arrived in Israel with "I prefer that we remain friends" co-star Jean-Paul Rouve and directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, refrained from elaborating on regional politics.

"In France, a lot is spoken of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am not judging you," the film star said.
"Wherever I go, also in France, I meet the local Jewish communities, and I am glad to be here," he said. 

Depardieu, who in recent years has delved into the winemaking industry, said that for a short time he produced a line of kosher wine.

"If the rabbis in France would have communicated better with one another I would continue to make kosher wine, but it is complicated," he said. "In any case, I love people, I love wine, I love food – you can learn a lot about people through food."

Reproduced by permission and copyright: Ynetnews