There is much more to this than meets the eye.
First, all this is taking place while the European media is replete with general anti-Russian hysteria and especially vicious Putin-bashing articles. Behind all this there is a powerful constellation of big money interests which include Boris Berezovsky, of course, but also the business partners of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, top officials of BP Oil and Gaz and MI6, Chechen and Israeli mobsters and key members of the Russian "non-systemic opposition" (i.e. those parties which could not even get a single representative elected to the Duma: folks like Boris Nemtsov, Valeria Novodvorskaya, Aleksei Navalnyi, Ksenia Sobchak, etc.) and Georgian intelligence agents. To say that Depardieu and Bardot are swimming against the stream is an understatement.
|The "new Russian" Depardieu|
Third, and this is extremely important and yet almost totally overlooked by most commentators, it would be difficult to find a bigger contrast then between Depardieu and Bardot. No, I don't mean the looks, I am referring to the fact that Depardieu comes from a Communist family and still considers himself as a Communist whereas Brigitte Bardot has very strong connections to the French national right, the National Front, and Jean Marie Le Pen personally. And yet, for all their differences, they both looked to Putin's Russia as a viable alternative to what is taking place in their native France.
Lastly, this is happening against the background of a huge, truly unprecedented economic, social and political crisis in Europe which will probably see the collapse of the Euro and possibly part of the EU. In France specifically, a total loser was elected as President - Francois Hollande - whose nickname inside his own socialist party was, forgive the crude expression, "limp dick" (the French Socialists had planned for years to present Dominique Strauss-Khan as their candidate, an man of immense personal charisma and intelligence, but whose inability to control is sexual impulses made him a perfect target for a discreditation operation by agents of the US and British banking interests).
|Bardot as Marianne|
It is important to realize the immense symbolical weight that the names Depardieu and Bardot have in France. Both of these actors are in a very direct way national symbols. Take Bardot, for example, not only was she considered for years as an international sex-symbol but she was actually used as a model for Marianne, the French symbol for Liberty. As for Depardieu, not only is he universally considered as the most talented French actor alive, he is also a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur and a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite.
|General de Gaulle|
De Gaulle was overthrown, but he left behind a powerful and uniquely French ideology called "Gaullisme" which is a mix of strong and independent patriotism in foreign affairs and social solidarity inside France. While this ideology has been comprehensively betrayed by the officially 'Gaullist' parties, it is still very much alive in the French collective memory and, in particular, amongst the supporters of the influential French dissident Alain Soral.
The "defection" of personalities such as Depardieu or Bardot very much feed into what I would call an "underground Gaullism" which is seeing a strong rebirth in large segments of the French society. At the core of it is a comprehensive rejection of the Anglosphere's attempt to rule the planet, a rejection of the current international financial system (WTO/WB/IMF/EU/NAFTA/etc.) imposed by international banking cartels and a fundamental rejection of both internationalism and capitalism, seen as two sides of the same coin.
This is, of course, very similar to what we could refer to as "Putinism" even though Putin himself still goes out of his way not to overly antagonize the Anglosphere (if only because Russia is not strong enough yet to do so). This French attraction to Russia is thus very natural.
The rest of Europe is, however, unlikely to join into this phenomenon. Northern Europe, from Germany to the Scandinavian peninsula, is firmly under the control of the Anglosphere. Central Europe, being even more spineless and intellectually dull, has turned into a confederation of US banana republics, and only in southern Europe is there a strong sense that something has gone terribly wrong and that new ideas are needed (hence the economic warfare waged by the international banking system against countries such as Greece, Spain or Italy).
Still, France is the country of revolutions par excellence and arguably still the intellectual powerhouse of Europe. France it has the potential to become a trend-setter if it decides to do so. It therefore shall be very interesting to see if the Depardieu-Bardot phenomenon will remain a one-time-only event, or if other signs of a growing Franco-Russian bond will begin to emerge.