Destinations Magazine

Charlemagne: L’exception Française

By Stizzard
Charlemagne: L’exception française

BÉRÉNICE BEJO rose to stardom without uttering a word in “The Artist”, an award-winning film about the silent-movie era. But this week at the European Parliament she was the voice of protest against plans for a transatlantic free-trade area with America. Europe’s film-makers fear that Brussels will surrender the cultural exception that allows subsidies and quotas which partly protect them from Hollywood competition. Were it not for French public money, “The Artist” would never have been made, declared Ms Bejo. She read out a letter from Wim Wenders, a German director, for whom losing the cultural exception would be akin to “burning our books, closing our museums, cutting our thumbs, sacrificing our first-born, rebuilding the Berlin Wall”.Melodrama comes naturally to film people. What is more puzzling is the seemingly suicidal behavior of France in its readiness to kill the world’s most ambitious trade negotiation before it begins. Unless audio-visual services are entirely excluded from the talks, France insists, it will veto the mandate for the European Commission to open negotiations with America when trade ministers meet in Luxembourg this weekend.In part, this is…

The Economist: Europe

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