Paris (AFP) – French film stars appeared on Monday in a final farewell to British-born actress and singer Jane Birkin, who died earlier this month after charming France for decades with her style and talent.
Birkin’s coffin was carried to Saint Roch Cathedral in Paris by his daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Le Doillon, famous singers and actresses, while a crowd of onlookers gathered outside.
Among those in attendance inside the chapel are French screen legends like Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni and Isabelle Huppert, as well as British actress Charlotte Rampling, who has also won large audiences in France and starred in French-language films.
They were joined by French First Lady Brigitte Macron and Minister of Culture Rima Abdel Malek.
Birkin was catapulted to fame through her tumultuous relationship with legendary singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and her stern-accented French, which became one of her signatures in her adoptive home.
With her skinny jeans, mini dresses, and fringe, Birkin was the ’70s girl par excellence.
The flowers that covered the church’s forecourt testified to the affection with which Birkin grew up in France, her adopted country, even if she never strayed from her British and particularly London roots.
The family explained that only close family and friends were allowed inside the church, but a giant screen was placed outside to allow the wider audience to follow.
Her voice choked with emotion, Charlotte Gainsbourg paid tribute to her mother by addressing the Assembly: “Now, I am an orphan.” His father, Serge Gainsbourg, died in 1991.
She added, “I can already see the void she left behind, because she is my mother and my mother.”
“Mom, thank you for all these adventures, thank you for not being ordinary, or sensitive, or so docile,” Doillon said.
Many of the hundreds of people who had gathered outside had tears in their eyes. Marie-Pierre Frappart, 63, said she had come “to pay homage to our little English lady”.
Birkin, who had suffered from health problems in recent years that forced her to cancel concerts, was found dead in her Paris home on July 16, at the age of 76.
French President Emmanuel Macron described Birkin as a “complete artist” who sang the most beautiful words in our language.
ls-jfg-acc-mch-sjw / rox
© 2023 AFP