#MeToo Stalled in France. This Actress Might Be Changing Things.

Judith Godrèche did not set out to relaunch the #MeToo movement in France’s movie industry.

She came back to Paris from Los Angeles in 2022 to work on “Icon of French Cinema,” a TV series she wrote, directed and starred in — a satirical poke at her acting career that also recounts how, at the age of 14, she entered into an abusive relationship with a film director 25 years older than her.

Then, a week after the show aired, in late December, a viewer’s message alerted her to a 2011 documentary that she says made her throw up and start shaking as if she were “naked in the snow.”

There was the same film director, admitting that their relationship had been a “transgression” but arguing that “making films is a kind of cover” for forms of “illicit traffic.”

She went to the police unit specialized in crimes against children — its waiting room was filled with toys and a giant teddy bear, she recalls — to file a report for rape of a minor.

“There I was,” said Ms. Godrèche, now 52, “at the right place, where I’ve been waiting to be since I was 14.”

Since then, Ms. Godrèche has been on a campaign to expose the abuse of children and women that she believes is stitched into the fabric of French cinema. Barely a week has gone by without her appearance on television and radio, in magazines and newspapers, and even before the French Parliament, where she demanded an inquiry into sexual violence in the industry and protective measures for children.

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