#11 European Classic Documentary Film Meetings 2021

Marée noire et colère rouge

René Vautier

197865 min

16 March 1978. The oil supertanker Amoco-Cadiz ran aground off Portsall, a small port on the north Finistère coast. Marée Noire, Colère rouge retraces the disaster caused by the sinking of the Amoco Cadiz and denounces the political lies spread by the media. The film seeks to reveal the  dishonest information campaign that followed the accident, as well as the disastrous ecological consequences.

  • The filmmaker: René Vautier was born 5 Janvier 1928 in Camaret-sur-Mer in the region of Finistère. He joined the French resistance at the age of 16. When France was liberated, he at the IDHEC film school, encouraged by his comrades in arms. Aged 21, he was commissioned by the Ligue de l’enseignement to film what life was like in French West Africa. Scandalised by the colonial violence, he came into conflict with the French officials and decided to reveal what he saw. The parts of his filming that he managed to save formed the film Afrique 50, today considered to be the first French anti-colonial film. He never abandoned his anti-colonialist stance and, in 1957, left for Algeria to film the War of Independence on the Algerian side, embedded in the FLN resistance movement. He stayed there until 1965 and took part in the creation of the Centre Audiovisuel d’Alger. After returning to Brittany, he became one of the founders of the  UPCB (Unité de production cinématographique de Bretagne) in 1970. In 1972, he filmed Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès, one of his best-known films about a group of young conscript soldiers mobilised in Algeria and confronted with the horrors of the colonial war. Censorship, legal actions, oil spills and capitalism, nuclear power and racism, Vautier took up all the combats, camera in hand, with a single guiding principle: “I film what I see, what I know, what is true”…
    Many of his films, shot in difficult conditions, have disappeared, others have been spoiled by repeated screenings in the four corners of the planet, while others have been intentionally destroyed. For ten years now, restoration work has been ongoing with support from the CNC, the  Cinémathèque française, and the Cinémathèque de Bretagne to try to save and restore this politically engaged oeuvre documenting the great struggles of the second half of the 20th century, be they anti-colonial, anti-apartheid, feminist, social, ecological…

  • The restorer: Moïra Chappedelaine-Vautier was born in Lorient in 1978. After graduating with a Masters in film studies and technical training with 3is, she began her career in short film and documentary production. In 2006, she stepped behind the camera and made her first documentary in Colombia: Bogotrax, Red Sonante.  She continued her career as producer and, in 2011, joined the Ciaofilm company, producing several ambitious documentaries including Georgi Lazarevski’s Zona Franca, Christian Sonderegger’s Coby and Oriane Brun-Moschetti’s Salut et Fraternité. She also develops fiction film projects. At the same time, she works with Rouge International production company as post-production director and executive producer for feature films both in France and internationally. Since 2012, she has also taken care of the cinematographic film fund of her father René Vautier, with assistance from the CNC, the Cinémathèque de Bretagne and the Cinémathèque française, and support from the Mutins de Pangée in order to preserve and bring his films to back to life for future generations. 

Production : l’UPCB ( Unité de Production Cinéma Bretagne)
Restorer : Moïra Vautier
Status : scanned / restored / calibration in progress
Availability date : September 2021

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