Le Figaro, 2023-02-07

Michel Houellebecq veut faire interdire un film néerlandais, qualifié de porno, le mettant en scène

Original in French

Translation to English

Michel Houellebecq wants to have a Dutch film featuring him banned as porn

In the trailer for the film, which is due to be released on 11 March, the writer is shown with his shirt off kissing a young woman in bed.

The lawyers of Michel Houellebecq and his wife announced on Tuesday 7 February that they had been instructed to take “all amicable and contentious steps, both civil and criminal”, to obtain the banning of the film Kirac 27, described as pornographic and featuring the writer, and of a trailer that they consider defamatory, Le Figaro and AFP have learned.

The trailer for the film, which is due to be released on 11 March and was made by a Dutch collective called Kirac, was released at the end of January. It shows the writer, shirtless, kissing a young woman in bed. In a voice-over, the director, Stefan Ruitenbeek, recounts that Michel Houellebecq had written to him that his honeymoon in Morocco had been cancelled, even though his wife had, according to him, “spent a month arranging prostitutes in advance”.

“Consternation and disgust”
The couple “discovered with dismay and disgust” that the trailer for Kirac 27 contained “statements implicating them, serious and untrue, violently undermining their dignity,” write Mes Angélique Bérès and Maïa Kantor, who defend the couple, in a statement sent to Le Figaro.

He therefore instructed his lawyers to “immediately stop these attacks by all means” by “withdrawing this trailer from platforms and social networks worldwide”, and by prohibiting the director and the collective “any commercial or non-commercial exploitation, in any form whatsoever, of the film (…) and other images they may have of the Houellebecqs.

According to Ms Bérès, contacted by AFP, “pre-litigation steps have already been taken with the director and the platforms” to obtain a ban on the film, particularly if it contains the voice-over remarks in the trailer. In a letter sent to the director, of which Le Figaro and AFP have been informed, Michel Houellebecq refers to “the explosion of violence” in the trailer, “which irreparably damages (his) private life, (his) honour but above all, what is even more serious, (his) wife, devastated by the lies” spread about her.