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Frédéric Mitterrand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frédéric Mitterrand
Réception pour les Français de Shanghai 20100430 - 10.jpg
Minister of Culture and Communication
In office
23 June 2009 – 16 May 2012
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon
Preceded byChristine Albanel
Succeeded byAurélie Filippetti
Personal details
Born (1947-08-21) 21 August 1947 (age 74)
Paris, France
Alma materSciences Po

Frédéric Mitterrand (born 21 August 1947) is a French politician[1] who served as Minister of Culture and Communication of France from 2009 to 2012 under President Nicolas Sarkozy. Throughout his career, he has been an actor, screenwriter, television presenter, writer, producer and director.


Born in Paris, he is the nephew of François Mitterrand, who was the president of France from 1981 to 1995, and the son of engineer Robert Mitterrand[2] (1915–2002) and Edith Cahier, the niece of Eugène Deloncle, the co-founder of "La Cagoule".[citation needed]

He attended the Lycée Janson de Sailly in Paris and studied history and geography at the Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, and political science at Sciences Po. He taught economics, history and geography at EABJM from 1968 to 1971. In 1978, he was a film critic at J'informe. From 1971 to 1986, he ran several art film cinemas in Paris (Olympic Palace, Entrepôt and Olympic-Entrepôt).[3] He also had roles in a number of films, and in the 1980s was active as a producer and director in TV productions.

In June 2008, Mitterrand was appointed as the director of the French Academy in Rome by President Nicolas Sarkozy.[4]

A year later, on 23 June 2009, Mitterrand was appointed to the French government as the Minister of Culture and Communications[5] until May 2012.[6]

Mitterrand, who is openly bisexual, writes a monthly column for Têtu.[7]

The Bad Life

Mitterrand's autobiographical novel The Bad Life (French: La mauvaise vie) was a best seller in 2005. In the book he details his "delight" whilst visiting the male brothels of Bangkok, and writes, "I got into the habit of paying for boys ... The profusion of young, very attractive and immediately available boys put me in a state of desire I no longer needed to restrain or hide." At the time of its release Mitterrand was applauded for his honesty, but he has had to defend his writings after he publicly defended Roman Polanski when Polanski was detained in Switzerland on an American request for extradition for raping a thirteen-year-old girl.[8]

On 5 October 2009, Marine Le Pen of the French National Front Party quoted sections of the book on French television, accusing him of having sex with underage boys and engaging in "sex tourism", demanding that Mitterrand resign his position as culture minister. Amongst others he was also criticised by the Socialist Party spokesman Benoît Hamon, who stated: "As a minister of culture he has drawn attention to himself by defending a film maker and he has written a book where he said he took advantage of sexual tourism. To say the least, I find it shocking."[9] On the other hand, some conservatives supported Mitterrand, and a close aide to Nicolas Sarkozy said the French President backed his Culture Minister, describing the controversy around him as "pathetic".[10]

Mitterrand insisted the book is not an autobiography, the publisher describes it as a "novel inspired by autobiography" and the BBC refers to it as "autobiographical novel".[2][11][12] In his own defence Mitterrand stated, "Each time I was with people who were my age, or who were five years younger – there wasn't the slightest ambiguity – and who were consenting", and that he uses the term "boys" loosely, both in his life and in the book. He also declared, "I condemn sexual tourism, which is a disgrace. I condemn paedophilia, which I have never in any way participated in."[13]


Mitterrand (left) at a 1990 film shoot
Mitterrand (left) at a 1990 film shoot
  • 1981: Lettres d'amour en Somalie
  • 1984: Paris vu par… vingt ans plus tard
  • 1995: Madame Butterfly, adaption of the Puccini opera
  • Les Aigles foudroyés, documentary
  • Mémoires d'exil, documentary
  • Fairouz, documentary, 1998
  • Je suis la Folle de Brejnev, 2001
  • FARAH: The Last Empress, documentary 2009[15]


  • Tous désirs confondus, Actes Sud, 1988, new ed. 2009
  • Mémoires d'exil, Robert Laffont, 1990, ISBN 978-2-221-09023-7
  • Destins d'étoiles – tomes 1, 2, 3, 4 – Fixot, 1991–1992
  • Monte Carlo: la légende, Assouline, 1993
  • Une saison tunisienne, sous la direction de Frédéric Mitterrand et Soraya Elyes-Ferchichi, Actes Sud, 1995
  • L'Ange bleu: un film de Joseph von Sternberg, Plume, 1995
  • Madame Butterfly, Plume, 1995
  • Les Aigles foudroyés – la fin des Romanov des Habsbourg et des Hohenzollern, Pocket, 1998
  • Un jour dans le siècle, Robert Laffont, 2000
  • La Mauvaise Vie, Robert Laffont, 2005
  • Lettres d'amour en Somalie, Pocket, September 2006
  • Maroc, 1900–1960 Un certain regard, avec Abdellah Taïa, Actes Sud, 2007
  • Le Festival de Cannes, Robert Laffont, 2007
  • Le désir et la chance, Robert Laffont, 2012
  • La récréation, Robert Laffont, 2013


National honours

Foreign honours


  1. ^ RMC. "Votre radio d'opinions : émissions politiques, de société et de sport". RMC. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b Schofield, Hugh (9 October 2009). "'Bad Life' minister's colourful dynasty". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Frédéric Mitterrand nommé à la Villa Médicis". 4 June 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Frédéric Mitterrand confirme sa venue à la culture". Le 23 June 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  6. ^ (in French) Transfer of power in the Ministry of Culture, in Libé, 17 May 2012.
  7. ^ Frédéric Mitterrand, 'Lettre Romaine', in Têtu, July–August 2009, issue 146, p. 20.
  8. ^ Samuel, Henry (7 October 2009). "Frédéric Mitterrand admitted to paying for sex with "young boys" in Thailand". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  9. ^ Bremner, Charles (7 October 2009). "Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterand fights to save job in rent boy row". The Times. London. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Mitterrand: A Friend to Polanski — and Young Boys?". Time online. 8 October 2009. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  11. ^ Allen, Peter (8 October 2009). "Sarkozy backs sex tourism minister". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  12. ^ "French culture minister denies paying boys for sex". Associated Press. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  13. ^ O'Brien, Mike (8 October 2009). "French pol Mitterrand forced to clarify 'sex with boys' comments after he defends Roman Polanski". New York. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  14. ^ 12e Festival International du Film sur l´Art 8-13 mars 1994, Commanditaire Officiel (in French & English). Montréal: Pratt & Whitney Canada, 1994, p.35.
  15. ^ "Documentary: FARAH by Frédéric Mitterrand (2009)".
  16. ^ "Liza Minnelli awarded French Legion of Honour".
  17. ^ Limited, Alamy. "Stock Photo – Frederic Mitterrand and Liza Minnelli Liza Minnelli is awarded with chevalier of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur) by French Culture Minister Frederic".
  18. ^ "Personnalities Honored At French Ministry Of Culture Photos and Images – Getty Images".
  19. ^ "Décret n° 57-549 du 2 mai 1957 portant institution de l'ordre des Arts et de lettres". Legifrance. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Actor Michael Caine Awarded "Commandeur Des Arts Et Des Lettres" At Ministere De La Culture Photos and Images – Getty Images".
  21. ^ "N° 7835 du VENDREDI 23 NOVEMBRE 2007 * Ordonnance Souveraine n° 1.396 du 18 novembre 2007 portant promotions ou nominat".
  22. ^ "Ordinului Coroana României".
  23. ^ "Frederic Mitterrand, între personalităţile decorate de principesa Margareta, în numele Regelui Mihai".
  24. ^ "Crucea Casei Regale a României".

External links

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 15 June 2022, at 23:05
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