Les États généraux du film documentaire 2013 Edito


In its attempt to represent the world and its inhabitants, in its desire to capture otherness and to conjure up before us the different so that we may confront it, in its ambition to give body to a figure or a word so that it may reveal a (hi)story and make visible that which cannot appear, how does documentary cinema bear witness to those who are confined to the margins, victims of unfair balances of power or inequalities? By a gesture of hospitality, a form of poetry, an act of revelation and engagement, so we wrote in our introduction to the seminar now entitled "The People on Screen?" The question mark allows for an open area of reflection to which Emmanel Alloa, Georges Didi-Huberman et Marie-José Mondzain invite us. Just as preoccupied with a cinema grappling with the world around, Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd and Philippe Boucq have selected for their last programme at "Viewing Experiences" films driven by a necessity to act, where people on both sides of the camera are mobilised to exercise their freedom of speech and eye, a conscience of citizens, a conscience of cinema. The commitment associated with the "exercise of free will" is also a characteristic of Belgian social film with Henri Storck as a precursor. His proteiform work resonates all along the "Doc History: Belgium" programme, and his contemporaries like his successors all demonstrate the same spirit of independence. This conscience of cinema is evident in other ways in the recent German documentaries of "Doc Route". Using a form of observation marked by distance, precision and rigour, the directors of these films powerfully testify to the mutations and disquieting movements within our societies. Recent German cinema also provides the opportunity to confront collective, family and individual history, and provoke a necessary working out of memory - issues that are present in numerous films of the "Open Air", "Africa" and "Special Screenings" programmes. But this necessary confrontation with history is sometimes imperilled by a form of falsification encouraged by television, refusing spectators the possibility of exercising their own free will, their own freedom of viewpoint. In the second seminar, "The Path of Images", we will examine with Sylvie Lindeperg and Jean-Louis Comolli the treatment that archive images suffer today, what is the real power of their testimony and what within them resists this falsification "which is tied to the very nature of cinema". Our programme "Fragments of a filmmaker's work" brings together films by four women filmmakers who express in their cinema a resistance, a consciousness of being in the world, a freedom of thought and a radical style of writing that can be applied to a shard of time, a relationship, the material nature of things and beings, to memories and emotions. And starting this year, to prolong the festival period, bimonthly projections are organised at the cinema "Le Regain" in Teil the year long in partnership with the inter-municipal community Rhône-Helvie. We must also point out the faithful commitment by our sides of all of our partners whose precious support is essential so that the festival may continue durably and develop new initiatives.

Pascale Paulat and Christophe Postic