Programmed by Jean-Marie Barbe
December 1995. A thousand miners rise up in revolt in one of the most violent struggles for social justice in French contemporary history. A quarter of a century later, the rage still smoulders and the struggle is more present than ever. Composed of unreleased video footage of the time and images of the present inhabitants of the city, Strike or Die paints the portrait of two generations for whom the battles have never ceased, in spite of all appearances.
This film from Jonathan Rescigno highlights the power of social anger. It’s not that often that the poetic side of anger and revolt against social injustice is as pervasive as this in a documentary. The remarkable thing about “Strike or Die” is the successful blend of times and situations, the soundscape of the silence when the battle is over, the teargas that hangs over the place, making it possible to slip from one timeframe to another and to weave clear connections between the sequences.
It’s a film about men and women. A eulogy to the struggle borne aloft, beyond the title, by the accounts of those who witnessed history as they explain how difficult it is to fight against humiliation. An extremely beautiful portrait of dignity…
Producer, Co-founder of the États Généraux du Film Documentaire de Lussas