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Les États généraux du film documentaire 2007 Documentary film and collective practices

Documentary film and collective practices

Tuesday, August 21 at 10.00 am and 2.30 pm, Room 1

The practice of cinema can from time to time take on a remarkable form, that of the “collective film”. Alongside La vie est à nous (1936) or Dodici Dicembre (1972), a significant number of collective works testify that utopian ideas can be made real, at particular moments and places, in mutant and unexpected forms.

How can a film be made by several individuals? Is it a case of additioning points of view, collecting subjectivities or experimenting with a different poetics of cinema? In the Lussas Documentary School, students of the Master 2 Documentary Direction programme have, for the past four years, participated in the experience of directing a collective film. From the script to the edit, a community of desire is formed and works to transmit, by the collective appropriation of cinema as an expressive tool, a community of condition or destiny.

What we know about the collective in cinema remains extremely fragmentary. Films produced in this way are rarely screened and add up to the traces left by several experiences of a reality associating cinema and commitment, artistic mobilisation and social or political struggle. Yet, whatever the form or nature of the collective intervention in the production of these films, they have the merit for the most part of testing the fragile pact between cinema and reality. What is produced in a collective film might finally be the belief in a cinema which could define itself as the expression of a collective hope.

Making the film is poetry. The whole is political. During this workshop made up of projections and debates, we will see what these collective works have to say to us as a whole. The workshop will take place in two periods. Starting with the projection of Nous autres (collective film Master 2 class of 2007) and an analysis of the work carried out at Lussas, a first session will be devoted to collective practices in documentary cinema today. This reflection will be extended during a second session around the projection of Flaky et Camarades (collective film, France, 1978-2007). The workshop will include contributions by guest collectives who will talk about their experience and practices.