Programmed by Claire Simon
The poetic and political portrait of a working-class suburb undergoing transformation, De Cendres et de Braises invites us to listen to the words of the inhabitants of the Mureaux housing project, near the Renault-Flins factory. Whether they are gentle, rebellious, or sung at the foot of the project’s tower blocks, at the factory entrance, or beside a fire, these words take us through the night until a new day rises.
Ash and Ember is the English title of this superb black & white film. Towards the end of the movie, the former armed robber – or Economic Resistance Fighter – says by his bonfire, “You break up the embers like this, and that creates flames everywhere”, and that’s what we see in the film… ash and ember: the moment after the fire, what’s still smouldering and what has been burned. The movie shows us the new generation, the world after the Renault Flins factory’s golden age. This poem or lyrical essay sings both the story that results from history and the talent of every character. Each person filmed is a creator, and what they create is the fruit of oppression and their own personal revolt, their dreams. It’s rare that a city, its skies and its inhabitants have been filmed with so much talent and love.