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Available for rent


France, 2000

Production : 13 Productions, La Sept-Arte, Le Musée d'Orsay

Programmed by Fabien David





We are in the year 1871. A journalist for Versailles Television broadcasts a soothing and official view of events while a Commune television is set up to provide the perspectives of the Paris rebels. On a stage-like set, more than 200 actors interpret characters of the Commune, especially the Popincourt neighbourhood in the XIth arrondissement. They voice their own thoughts and feelings concerning the social and political reforms. The scenes consist mainly of long camera takes.

Tënk's opinion

It’s not March 1871 but 1999, in Montreuil in the suburbs of Paris, in what used to be Georges Méliès’ studios.  
“We ask you to imagine that it’s 17th March 1871”, announces Aurélia Petit, the film’s actress speaking as herself at the end of the prologue.  The uniqueness and power of this film lie in this specifically Brechtian method, making a contract right from the start between the collective taking part in this adventure (and the words “collective” and “adventure” are used in their strongest sense) and us, the audience.
Here, as in Peter Watkins’ other films, the participative process initiated before shooting gives rise to speeches that resonate intensely with the times we’re living through right now. This is Watkins’ experimental and creative conception, rich with anachronisms, of history and politics as well as filmmaking. And with it, he makes us even more desperate to reopen cinemas and prolong the experience together…

Fabien David
Programmer of Cinéma Le Bourguet in Forcalquier

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4