Les États généraux du film documentaire 2017 Docmonde


Although the films in this programme are all rooted in the same fertile soil of the training sessions carried out in France (by l’École documentaire) and in Africa, Eurasia, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean (within the different programmes supported by the association Docmonde), their diversity proves the liveliness of very different cinematographic cultures.
At first glance, the harvest this year is abundant and multi-coloured. From Burkina Faso to Siberia, from Georgia to Madagascar, from Haiti to Paris’ 5th arrondissement, the twelve selected films were made all around the world under more or less sunny skies. We find the expected colours. These films allow us to discover the Other and the Elsewhere, for the people who made them communicate a viewpoint on the universe to which they are close, a proximity that gives them access to more complex realities. This is the case of The Sun Will Rise, where the filmmaker goes in search of her mother’s sickness and ends up revealing the beliefs and identity crisis of the Haitian people. In the same way, by attempting a discussion with her father, an architect of post-war reconstruction, Sarah Srage questions the outlandish urbanisation of her home city in Children of Beirut. Samuel Bigiaoui also films his father in his hardware shop to draw the portrait of a Parisian microcosm: the life of the neighbourhood, the social role of small shopkeepers and the heritage of May 68 in 68, My Father and the Nails. Philippe Gaubert relates in his film the particular status of white people abroad through the portrait of his wife, Lili, an insular Malagasy in To Be Vazaha. Filming what is close in order to create a path to the other, to elsewhere, a privileged access for us, spectators...
Viewing these films together allows us to see the lines connecting them, an original network, invisible on the surface for the observer who might see them as scattered little shoots. The fact that they have made the journey to us or that they are shown in international film festivals is not a matter of chance; they bear within themselves the necessity and simplicity of a common world. We recognise within them the desire to recount the world as a dream to be shared. There is Nikolay and his dream of liberty in the closed Bulgaria of the USSR (Nikolay’s Dream). There is the memory of Rouch and Morin in their search for happiness, whose Chronicle of a Summer has left traces in the heart of this new generation of filmmakers (Remake of a Summer). There is the little Georgian boy, Luka, whose dreams of dance seem unrealisable (Listen to the Silence). And Olga, who during the time-space of a film, tackles the task of remembering the first Russian electro evenings after the fall of the Berlin Wall (I am Gagarin)... As these encounters go on, little by little, we see emerging between these films an imaginary, yet in spite of everything common, space.
Most of the films of this Docmonde programme are also first films. The filmmakers tell us something about youth, persistent, difficult, whose beauty resides in the fact of living the instant. In Vivre riche, we see the capacity to make out displayed by Abidjan boys who live off minor rackets. In Don’t Press Stop, we meet Maria Morina’s group of friends and the disillusions of their new, adult life, far from their dreams. In The Koro of bakoro, it is simply, for those living in the street, the necessity of their own existence... And the filmmakers themselves try out, experiment with forms of storytelling and playing with images. Like this new young sprout, Diane Kaneza, a Burundi student at the Master’s in Documentary Filmmaking at Saint Louis (Senegal) whose final year graduation film we will show: None tubipfe !
We will discover all these powerfully promising films in the company of their directors, of whom a large number are women, emblems of a new generation of worldwide documentary cinema.

Madeline Robert and Jean-Marie Barbe

Debates led by Madeline Robert and Jean-Marie Barbe.
In the presence of the directors and/or producers.