Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Adèle Haenel Has Retired From Filmmaking

Photo: oe Scarnici/Getty Images for Moët and Chandon

Adèle Haenel, whom American audiences know best from Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Water Lilies, announced Tuesday that she is quitting the movies. Haenel cited the French film industry’s lack of movement on Me Too as the cause of her early retirement, writing in Télérama that she wanted to call out the “general complacency” of the French film industry “vis-à-vis sexual aggressors.” Haenel famously walked out of the César Awards in 2020 (the French equivalent to the Oscars) when Roman Polanski won Best Director for An Officer and a Spy. In her Télérama letter, Haenel criticizes the French film industry for protecting predators rather than casting them out. “[T]hey all join hands to save the face of Depardieu, Pokanski, and Boutonnat,” Variety translated. “It unnerves them and disturbs them that victims make too much noise; they would prefer it if we continued to disappear and die in silence. They’re ready to do anything to defend their rapist chiefs.” Since 2020, Haenel has been focusing on protesting and activism, appearing at protests for the French Me Too movement as well as the ongoing economic protests.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Adèle Haenel Retires From Film