Death of Just Jaeckin, the director of the erotic film “Emmanuelle”

He directed the film symbol of the sexual revolution of the 1970s: the French director Just Jaeckin, who directed the erotic film Emmanuelleto international success from Japan to the United States, died Tuesday at the age of 82.

“Just Jaeckin, the director ofEmmanuelle with Sylvia Kristel, died on September 6 in Brittany following a long illness at the age of 82 […] He died surrounded by his wife Anne, a sculptor, and his daughter Julia, a photographer,” a family spokesperson told AFP on Wednesday.

Emmanuelle, the biggest hit of 1974 in France with nearly 9 million admissions, was shown on the Champs-Élysées in Paris for thirteen years. It tells the sexual adventures of a young woman in Asia.

Just Jaeckin with radio host Macha Béranger in 1988.

A societal phenomenon, the film has been seen in cinemas by several tens of millions of spectators all over the world, many more if we take other media into account.

Available today for rental on demand, Emmanuelle had been available on Netflix for a time, in 2020. Not recommended for children under 16, it was then presented as a “romantic” opus.

Emmanuelle had been adapted from an erotic bestseller of the same name, written by Emmanuelle Arsan in 1959.

The producer Yves Rousset-Rouard, wishing to entrust the project to a young director, contacted Just Jaeckin, fashion and celebrity photographer, delighted to shoot a feature film. When it went to committee in 1974, the film had to be censored if certain cuts were not made.

But the death of President Georges Pompidou led to the appointment of a new Secretary of State for Culture, which allowed the film to be released in theaters.


When she left, Sylvia Kristel was, among other insults, called a “bitch” and the subject of all kinds of rumors, such as that granting her an idyll with President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, which she denied.

After this success, his name will remain linked to the erotic saga with four other parts. There will also be, this time without Sylvia Kristel, several films more or less inspired byEmmanuelle.

Sylvia Kristel

After EmmanuelleJust Jaeckin will direct history of O and, again with Sylvia Kristel, Lady Chatterley’s lover, in which she embodied the English aristocrat living a carnal passion with her gardener.

The actress, who fell into drugs and alcohol after having to deal with criticism and fame, died of cancer at the age of 60 in 2012. In 2006, she published her autobiography under the title of naked.

“Sylvia was a wonderful woman, very pure, very naive. She was aptly named “Kristel”. She had been overtaken, like me by the way, by the tidal wave ofEmmanuelle. The red-hot ironEmmanuelle was very hard for her”, confided in 2012 to AFP Just Jaeckin, after the death of the actress.

The success ofEmmanuelle has “disturbed and overshadowed the multifaceted talent” of the photographer, commercial director and sculptor he was before he was the director ofEmmanuelleunderlines his entourage.

Born in 1940 in Vichy, Just Jaeckin was also the owner, with his wife, of an art gallery in Paris where they exhibited paintings and sculptures, including their own.

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