Although Johnny Depp is no longer the favorite face of Hollywood, at least for the big franchises, his fans remain loyal to whatever project he gets involved in. Although his path has become somewhat difficult due to the legal scandals that he has starred in with his ex-wife Amber Heard, he has tried to stay on his feet with smaller productions, in addition to the fact that other companies have decided not to turn their backs on him to continue collaborating by his side as is the case with Dior.
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In the film industry, some festivals have sided with him keeping in mind his presumption of innocence and that nothing has been proven against him. However, although now he has chosen to make lower-budget tapes, but that have something interesting to tell, some have pointed out that the reputation that the musician now carries has become the object of rejection by the big studios. In the particular case of Minamata – 35%, its director Andrew Levitas released a letter in July where he accused MGM of “burying” the premiere of his film.
Until today, the reception of the tape has been mixed; While the critical rating is not the best, viewers have enjoyed this story, and it is not just about the actor’s fans, but the general public and people who managed to connect with the character’s life. Such is the case of the acclaimed Australian photojournalist Stephen Dupont, who has collaborated as a war photographer with magazines and newspapers such as New Yorker, Aperture, Newsweek, Time and currently exhibits Are We Dead Yet, where he presents images of recent bushfires in Australia bringing to the table the long-term impact of climate change.
During an interview with World Socialist Web Site, the filmmaker also spoke about the impact his work and life experience have had on his life and career. W. Eugene Smith (protagonist of the film) who documented the devastating effects of mercury poisoning on Japanese coastal communities. After talking specifically about the photographer and the points where he has identified with him, he was also questioned about the particular film and the parallels between the cover-up of what happens within the story and what he is facing. Johnny depp in real life now that the North American premiere has been boycotted according to Levitas’ own accusations.
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I really liked Minamata, and I found it quite powerful and sad. It was quite personal because I won the W. Eugene Smith Scholarship in 2007, which was an incredible honor. […]I don’t want to be overly critical of the dramatization, it’s not a documentary, but I felt that Johnny Depp captured Smith’s personality very well. […] It’s complete nonsense [los problemas de reputación de Depp] and it should not be used to prevent the film from being released in the US Regardless of what Depp is alleged to have done in his personal life, and there are only allegations about what happened during a marital breakup, he is just an actor. The big picture here is the movie, its story, and the victims of mercury poisoning. MGM shouldn’t cross that line. Don’t shoot the messenger, is what I would say.
The photographer added that the attitude of MGM only reflects the world in which we live where accusations are disproportionate and “the negativity of people’s lives is taken advantage of.” On the other hand, he also pointed out that this “punishment” not only affects Depp, but everyone involved in the production. He said that even if the accusations were true, his opinion would be the same, because they are human beings and they live that kind of thing, and even if he made a mistake, the state of censorship is critical because it doesn’t just drag him down.
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Remember that Andrew Levitas noted in his letter that “’by re-exposing their pain by sharing their story, this long-marginalized community hoped for only one thing: to lift the story from the shadows so that other innocents would never be afflicted like them … and it seemed that At that time, with the MGM partnership, a decades-long wish finally came true. […] imagine the devastation when they learned that despite an already successful global release, MGM had decided to ‘bury the film’ because they were concerned that an actor’s personal problems in the film could reflect negatively on them.