Everything must be done to preserve the sense of this movement, the originality of the action that is outlined within it, the new freedom that it has already conquered for everyone. No organisation can today pretend to represent alone the revolutionary demand.
Les Organisations Dissoutes (From a writers and artists manifesto of May 68, france)
The yellow vests insurrection challenges not only political and economic representation, but the representation of words and images, words and images appropriated for commodity production and circulation, words and images central to spectacle capitalism.
In mid-December, a call emerged from a self-proclaimed Brigades d’Actions Cinématographiques, a call for a revolutionary cinema.
We reproduce the call below (as it appeared in lundi matin on December 19th) in translation, followed by a selection of the Brigades work.
APPEL DES BRIGADES D’ACTIONS CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUES
At a time when our generation grew up with the Internet and the era of the image, in its abundance and multiplicity.
At a time when our generation grew up with struggles trampled, the mobilisations of the popular neighborhoods against police violence in 2005, the mobilisations against the pension reform in 2010, against the labor law in 2016, against Parcoursup [selection procedure for french public universities] and the railway reform in 2018, and finally, the yellow vests.
We inherit a world that is dying.
Life is beautiful but the world is rotten.
“So, we, image workers, whether we are professionals, students or amateurs, we demand the imperative need to use the cinema as a weapon and a practice in the service of the struggle.”
In view of a revolutionary situation in France, namely: the popular insurrection, the blockage of the economy, the bloody police repression, the filthy media repression
We recognize the French people and their collective history as that of the popular class – workers -, those who are called the intermediate body, those of peripheral France, those whom we expressly call the French people, in its diversity and especially in the recognition of its minority populations: classes, races and genres.
We identify the image industry – film, television, media – as an industry and advocacy tool for the elite. Through the control of production systems and the diffusion of representation, they have the capacity to act on our imaginations.
That is why:
1° We reappropriate the methods of Guérilla Cinema to produce our representations beyond the industrial circuit of the image
2° We reappropriate the methods of Wild Cinema [Cinéma Sauvage] to broadcast our representations beyond the networks of commercial broadcasts
3° We reclaim the methods of the Cinema Vérité to treat the real with the real
1° We form montage cells and call upon each of them to join this Hydra of a thousand heads, an unquantifiable and innumerable multitude
2° We organize ourselves in filming groups and call upon each one to be constituted as a Brigade of Cinematographic Action to seize Popular History
3° We call upon each of us to invest the places of formal representations – cinema, cinema-clubs – or informal – public space, facades, gardens, etc. – in order to diffuse a revolutionary cinema and to enlarge as much as possible the instruments of counter- information that we already have.
Contrary to media opinion, we think with the people that the image of France is nothing but freedom guiding the people and that every social revolution is an aesthetic revolution.
Let us destitute the government
Let us destitute cinema
Long live the impure revolution