Les États généraux du film documentaire 2009 Editorial


Each year the elaboration of the programme is the result of a long maturing process. From reflections to encounters, discoveries of new films and rediscoveries of indispensable old ones, starting with our desires and our questions, we build up a set of proposals around which we then invite faithful companions and new collaborators to contribute.
Taking films as a starting point produces the most certain promises, and associating them is a delicate and exciting labour of construction. For this 21st edition, we traced paths which criss-cross different artistic fields in multiple forms, each time concentrating on the extent to which the films were signs of engagement, whether it be in the expression of a strong political stand or an affirmed choice of writing or direction.
We will explore and question these committed gestures as if they were so many proposals or initiatives which in their attempt to think, inhabit, shake up, their time maintain or re-establish ties of meaning and thought, create currents of resistance, interior movements and working alliances.
Thus in the invitation extended to photographers we desire first of all to explore their methods of work, their apprehension of a subject, a place, a story, their way of thinking "documentary description and account". From the outset with Jean-François Chevrier, from the point of view of art history, we will open this pathway, that connecting documentary forms to the history of representations. The connection between personal commitment and artistic practice is also what we will examine with Patrick Leboutte and Sylvain George when politics and cinema are challenged by necessity: how do films engage, from 68 to today, in the struggles of their times, how do filmmakers associate politics and cinema. How can we invent new gestures, new “intranquil” beliefs, new forms of liberating struggles?
The way of looking at our time, the attempt to seize and comprehend History – between our eyes and within our hands – are also concerns crossing the programmes of Romanian and Polish cinema marked by years of censorship and propaganda.
These attempts to represent and recount history in movement, to inscribe films in its current, are conjugated all along our programmes, from one artistic style to another, from one period to another: Soviet archives with Revue, residual images with Material, historical analysis in Face aux fantômes, African political films, "embracing History" in "Uncertain Viewpoints", music and propaganda films for the Sacem, and the cycle on "The God Money" for the Scam. That is the programme.
And finally because it is indispensable to harden our responses to the regressive policies imposed on us, the widening of our viewpoints, our words and actions will spread to the public space with the precious intervention of the association of the Friends of Lussas who call on us Ne pas plier.
Let us think cinema as a way of disturbing order.

Pascale Paulat and Christophe Postic