Seberg is the latest film starring Kristen Stewart, where she plays real-life actress Jean Seberg. The actress’ name may not be well known but her story was pretty extraordinary for those around at the time. However, how much of Seberg is real, and how much is fiction?
Yes, Seberg is based on the true story of Jean Seberg, an actress who was targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO programme, which used intimidation and defamation to discredit potential radicals.
Jean Seberg was an actress, born in 1938 in Marshalltown, Iowa, where she grew up alongside her family, before she enrolled at the University of Iowa to study dramatic arts, moving to movie-making instead.
Her neighbour submitted her for a role in Otto Preminger’s Saint Joan, which she won, but her portrayal was panned and she later recounted how being “burned at the stake by the critics” hurt more than in the film.
Is the story of new movie Seberg based on real life? (Image: Universal/Getty)
However, she soon became even more famed when she appeared as Patricia in 1960’s À bout de souffle (Breathless,) Jean-Luc Godard’s film which turned her into a free-love heroine of French New Wave films.
She appeared in around 32 movies in her career as a whole, but her story as chronicled in Seberg focuses on a particularly fraught moment in her life.
The film shows her meeting Hakim Jamal, who was married to a cousin of Malcolm X, in 1968 by chance.
Since this meeting, Seberg is reported to have donated $10,500 to the Black Panthers’ cause after their meeting, and also hosted a fundraiser for them with stars such as Jane Fonda, Paul Newman and Vanessa Redgrave among the guest list.
Jean Seberg in