Les États généraux du film documentaire 2010 Editorial


What can upset documentary writing more than transformations in the Real itself? Film is regularly shaken up by tensions between its economic and artistic dimensions. The transformations brought about by the invasion of digital technologies (from the film-makers' tools to the means of distribution) exasperate these tensions. At the same time, they also transform our ways of documenting (in word, sound and image) and of seeing, as film-makers and spectators, just as they transform prospects for production and distribution. This twenty-second edition will question more globally the evolutions under way in our methods of making films and will note the gaps opening up between producers' policies and trajectories, film-makers' approaches and sensibilities, between ways of making film in places near and far.
At a time when offers in documentary form on the internet are multiplying, we propose to examine the way this new medium is shaking up practices and formats, modifying the shared experiences of director and viewer. These last years have been marked by repeated use of documentary in all artistic domains – a necessity to experience the Real – unveiling new forms of approach and narrative.
The meeting with two important directors at the extreme edges of documentary practice, Avi Mograbi and Wang Bing, will allow us to discuss with them their radical approaches. Both provide us with clear choices in the methods imagined to confront human realities which are, in and of themselves, just as extreme. In these films, the demands made on cinema are equal to the high consideration shown for their subject matter. Such demands are also found in the films selected for the "Uncertain Viewpoints" programme. The films place a woman or a man, a neighbourhood or a group, a community at the heart of their stories. This anthropological dimension of cinema is also very present in the atypical work of Jørgen Leth as well as in the collection of interviews with Stephano Savona whose films all document a state of struggle. The Friends of Lussas carry us into the Amazon with the same motivations, the Sacem proposes some ethno-musical exploration, the Scam reminds us that film is a question of style and a new generation of African documentary film-makers appropriates its history. The " Doc Route" pushes east as far as Russia and "Doc History" explores Denmark while the films of Chris Welsby will provide a refuge for the senses in the midst of this overpowering reality. Finally, there will be two particularly awaited moments: the screening of the highly impressive montage of archives in Andrei Ujică's film on the construction of the "Ceaușescu Fiction", an indispensable testimonial on the media staging of a historic imposture; and the three new films of Emmanuelle Demoris' cycle shot in the Mafrouza shanty town of Alexandria, a patient process of immersion that opens up space for true encounter, favouring the emergence of some shared words and reflection.

Pascale Paulat and Christophe Postic.