Caricaturing French President Nicolas Sarkozy Caricaturing French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Caricaturing French President Nicolas Sarkozy

In 2007, French president Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as saying he preferred an excess of caricature to an absence of caricature. French artist and illustrator Paul Poutre took Sarkozy up on the offer with the animated short Excès de caricature, a devastating assessment of Sarkozy’s five-year term as president.

Poutre’s biting satire uses animation to great effect, and presents a nonstop string of visual gags about Sarkozy’s policies and personal behavior. I’m sure it’s even funnier to those who live in France and hear about Sarkozy daily, but non-French audiences who keep up with the news will find much of the content familiar as well.

The film was created as part of exhibition of Poutre’s work that is currently taking place at Confort Moderne in Poitiers, France. The short is as timely as ever: elections in France begin this Sunday, and Sarkozy is seeking re-election.

  • Presidential Hopeful

    Governments, one day more of us will hopefully realise what they really are and the kind of people who are always vying to be part of them. Major Political parties headed by Presidents & Prime Ministers sitting on salaries of around $420000 or more? I thought these people were meant to be public servants who were only interested in helping & serving their country as part of a publicly funded [by your taxes] country wide institution for the good & support of all its people. Oh well… I guess we were wrong.

    • derikG

      Presidents of any country are more or less actors or puppets. They’re just the image for media and propaganda. izzz allz a gimick.

      Anyways, That was a stunning masterpiece of animations and I love it when so many different styles pop out at your every minute or 30 seconds! Good job Paul!

  • Brilliant! Music was great.

    • Julian Carter

      I was about to post that I thought the music was excellent. You beat me to it!

      • Thanks guys (and thanks Amid for the post), I’m glad you like the film, because I was afraid it was a “too french” subject-matter for export.
        The music is by a talented young jazz/experimental musician/producer called Matthieu Metzger, who already has a great history of collaborations. If you are curious here’s his website :

      • Thanks very much Paul!

  • tomm

    love all the different styles for each gag

  • Bouche-Cousue

    Sorry to talk about politics, but this video is about it, so …

    I do hate Sarkozy but the message at the end is wrong : Sarkozy increased the number of immigrated people A LOT. A few expulsions were made just for making French people believe he did something against this problem. Because yes, immigration is a real problem and that’s one of the reasons he was elected.

    At the end, the video tries to say “Sarkozy = Le Pen” (the nationalist candidate) which is completely stupid. I follow our presidential elections enough to know that.

    • Paul Poutre

      Hello Bouche-Cousue, you are right Cartoon Brew is probably not the best place for a discussion about French politics, so I’ll try to answer you as shortly as possible.
      First of all, I don’t see where the film, which has no dialogs and no “written statement”, says UMP (Sarkozy) = FN (Le Pen, National Front). That’s your reading of the images and shots. Whis is too simplistic and, indeed, stupid. A film is not a speech.
      What do the moving images actually show ? At the end of a whole sequence (this is important) about immigrants and expulsions, it directly (without a cut) brings to a visual parallel between Sarkozy and Le Pen. To deny that ON THIS SUBJECT the president has held positions and used a rhetoric close to FN would be extremely naive.
      Sarkozy has since 2007 been very vocal about his will to reclaim the extreme-right voters, so if as you say you follow politics, I can’t believe you haven’t noticed that he and his team (Hortefeux, Guéant, Buisson who used to work for extreme-right journal “Minute”) use the immigration “threat” and suspicion of strangers (the colored ones, who “look muslim” or come from “inferior civilizations” as they say) as a way to seduce FN voters.
      I could easily dig out pages and pages of quotes on this matter, and foreign journals have also pointed it out regularly, but the simplest and funniest proof of this is that both FN leader Marine Le Pen and his father Jean-Marie have regularly ironized about Sarkozy stealing from them, saying : “prefer the original to the copy” and even ironically offering a FN card to Claude Guéant. So if you want to call the film stupid that’s your right, but I might want to call you blind.

      However I’ll admit the film suffers from one major weakness : in 2012 Sarkozy is an almost too easy target.

  • SKent.

    I like Sarkozy. Anyway, he amuses me.

    I don’t think anyone is under any illusions about him being a great or inspiring leader, but he has yet to do anything truly awful. He’s clearly not a Le Pen, or a Bush, or a Putin, or even a Berlusconi.