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Jean-Luc Godard resorted to assisted suicide: “I wasn’t sick, I was just exhausted”

Jean-Luc Godard presenting his film ‘Notre Musique’ at Cannes in 2004. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godardone of the fathers of the Nouvelle Vague, who died on Tuesday at the age of 91, resorted to assisted suicide.

”Jean-Luc Godard resorted to legal assistance in Switzerland for a voluntary death, following multiple disabling pathologies according to the terms of the medical report”, explained Patrick Jeanneret, confirming an information published by the French newspaper liberation.

His wife Anne-Marie Miéville confirmed his death at the end of the morning explaining that there was “died peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones”, in Rolle, on the shores of Lake Geneva. “I wasn’t sick, I was just exhausted.”specified a person close to the family to the aforementioned medium.

Assisted suicide is allowed in Switzerland.

“Many times I ask my doctor, my lawyer: ‘If I come to ask you for barbiturates, […] morphine, can you give me?’ I haven’t had any favorable response yet,” the filmmaker said in 2014.

Director Jean-Luc Godard, an icon of the French new wave that revolutionized cinema, has died at the age of 91 (AP)
Director Jean-Luc Godard, an icon of the French new wave that revolutionized cinema, has died at the age of 91 (AP)

His filmography includes 131 titles such as director (many of them short films and documentaries) between 1955 and 2018, in a long and brilliant film career that includes 76 award nominations, with 51 awards.

Godard, born in Paris in December 1930, began in the world of cinema as a critic in the 1950s in various specialized magazines. He was one of the world’s most provocative directors in Europe, beginning in 1960 with his debut feature “Breathless”.

In parallel, he began to shoot some short films, in which he had as collaborators other young people such as Éric Rohmer or François Truffaut, who were going to create what would become known as the Nouvelle Vague.

But it was “à bout de souffle” (“At the end of the escape” in Spanish) in 1959, with Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo as protagonists, the film that launched him to fame to become one of the founding works of this movement.

From then on, he alternated successes and failures at the box office, although he was always highly respected by critics and his actors, and very frequent in nominations for film awards. From the mid-1960s he entered a very political and experimental cinema.

His films launched Jean-Paul Belmondo to stardom, and his controversial Christmas play “Je vous salue, Marie” (“I greet you, Mary”) made headlines when it was criticized by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

For a few years he also focused on documentaries until he returned to commercial cinema with “Prenom, Carmen”, in 1983.

Jean-Luc Godard at the 16th Berlin Film Festival on June 27, 1966 (AP/Edwin Reichert, file)
Jean-Luc Godard at the 16th Berlin Film Festival on June 27, 1966 (AP/Edwin Reichert, file)

His last works were two short films and a documentary, “The Image Book”, all from 2018.

Among the awards he received are a honorary oscara Palme d’Or special Y two French honorary Caesarsawards that paid tribute to a very special career.

Godard worked with the best actors of the time, such as Belmondo, Alain Delon, Eddie Constantine, Jean-Pierre Léaud or Anna Karina, his muse during the first half of the 1960s and to whom he was married for a few years.

(With information from EFE, AFP and AP)

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