Les États généraux du film documentaire 2012 Viewing Experiences

Viewing Experiences

The twenty-three films we have chosen for this programme have in common the capacity, in varying degrees, to unveil what the immediate viewing of reality obscures. By taking a step back to choose a viewpoint – meaning to look with the acuity made possible by taking time rather than being caught up in the urgency of immersion – their filmmakers reveal the shadowy sides and the obscurity necessary for the awakening of our senses, our comprehension of the world and its problems.
Each of these proposals is a cinematic essay at the limit of the Real and the possibility of its representation. Hence their tendency to confront the hidden part of the visible, and the fact that these films seem inhabited by a break – a divide – within which each of us is able to deploy our imagination. They invite us therefore as spectators to an experience to be lived.
If experiences to be lived via cinema remain one of the reasons behind this programme – provided that these experiences transgress the habits which so commonly dull our vision and our hearing – we have favoured films that, charged with this aesthetic energy, weave links with the world of politics. We understand by politics not a subject or an event of current affairs but the belief in the possibility of cinema to open other horizons concerning the understanding we can have of the world and the necessity to break with our reserve in order to work for its change.
Carried by the assumption of risk on the formal level, this belief – from the moment it manages to embrace the facts and questions connected to our lives and History, be they yesterday's, today's or tomorrow's – allows the spectators we are to make it ours.
It is not illusory to think that the movements of History can arise from the desire and accumulated tension of thousands of eyes that by the repeated effort of turning towards a still invisible future finally make it appear.
In different ways, the twenty-three films which make up this programme are infused with these aesthetic and political forces. Because these films are rare and precious, we have chosen them that they may guide our questioning of a contemporary cinema grappling with the state of today's world.

Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd and Philippe Boucq

Debates in the presence of the filmmakers and the producers.