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The Balladeer

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On Monday’s episode of Vox Tablet, host Sara Ivry interviews French comic book artist Joann Sfar (of The Rabbi’s Cat fame) about his film
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, which opens at the end of the month in New York. Serge Gainsbourg was a hero to Sfar, who grew up in an observant Jewish family in the 1970s and 80s, not least because Gainsbourg was a funny-looking Jewish guy who got to sleep with Brigitte Bardot and appear drunk on television regularly. These and many other improprieties (Bardot was married at the time) provoked outrage or adoration, depending on one’s age and disposition.

We could say more, but instead, we’ll give you this: the recording that caused a furor when it was released in 1979, with one journalist going so far as to accuse Gainsbourg of feeding anti-Semitism by seeking to make a profit from “La Marseillaise.” Could be, but … isn’t he something?

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The Balladeer

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