Over six days, for four or five hours per day, Macdonald conducted interviews with the British designer, who spoke sincerely about his racist and anti-semitic diatribe in a Parisian bar that led to his fall from grace in 2011. During that process, there was no minder or PR representative present, just Galliano and the filmmaker.
The upcoming documentary, High & Low - John Galliano is said to be an unsparing look at that period, encompassing the immense pressure Galliano was under at the helm of Dior following the global financial crisis, along with his alcohol and pill addiction. The designer is deeply repentant: “It was a disgusting thing, a foul thing, that I did,” he says. “It was just horrific.” And the documentary touches on forgiveness with both parties completely cognizant that it may not be a luxury many are willing to offer.
More interesting is Macdonald's inclusion of opposing perspectives; the director has refrained from tying the story up in a neat redemption arc, and refuses to make it black and white. Rather, he sees it as one of the first examples of cancel culture, and asks what scope there is for forgiveness and rehabilitation in our present-day?
Who is involved in High & Low - John Galliano?
Along with candid interviews with John Galliano himself, the documentary also includes commentary from fashion heavyweights like Anna Wintour and Edward Enninful who situate the designer – and his undeniable artistry – in context of the fashion industry at the time. While cameos from Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Penelope Cruz, Bernard Arnault, and Charlize Theron speak to Galliano's character.
Macdonald also spoke with one of Galliano’s victims and plaintiffs in the court case against him, Philippe Virgitti, along with Sidney Toledano, the former CEO of Christian Dior Couture.
Is there a trailer?
What about a release date?
The film, which sparked heated debate when it premiered at Telluride Film Festival, will arrive in theatres across the US and UK on March 8.