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Popular Front(s) | Programme

L’Évangile de la révolution de François-Xavier Drouet © L’Atelier documentaire, Need productions – 2023

« Stir yourselves because we’ll need all your enthusiasm. Organize yourselves because we’ll need all your strength. Educate yourselves because we’ll need all your intelligence. »

Antonio Gramsci in L’Ordine Nuovo – 1919

Documentary filmmaking shapes new narratives, new visions, and new readings of the world. Throughout its history, one of the genre’s driving forces has been filmmakers’ desire to lift the veil on the present, as a way of better understanding and experiencing reality. Rooted in the belief that films open our eyes to the world, each year, Popular Front(s) sets out to explore some part of our contemporary reality and some of the questions that move us, inviting us to embrace an activist stance.

Popular Front(s) screenings take place every day. They feature recent films—including world premieres—followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and a guest, engaging viewers in a reflection on the film’s form, its vision, and on the theme of the present edition.

Saturday 23 March | 7.30pm

The Gospel of Revolution by François-Xavier Drouet

Produced par L’Atelier documentaire, Need productions
2023 | France, Belgium | 115′

The revolutions in Latin America in the twentieth century owe much to the millions of Christians involved in political struggles in the name of their faith, who defied military regimes and oligarchies. I set out to meet those who saw in them the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Followed by a discussion with François-Xavier Drouet and Michael Löwy, sociologist, research director at the CNRS

Sunday 24 March | 6.30pm

Guerilla des Farc, l’avenir a une histoire by Pierre Carles

Produced by C-P Productions
2023 | France | 143′

The incredible evolution of a guerrilla organisation fighting the Colombian state since the 1960s: from persecution and demonisation to disarmament and a return to civilian life, not without difficulties…

Followed by a discussion with Pierre Carles, Stéphane Goxe, co-author of the film and Pascale Mariani, journalist at Mediapart and France 24

Monday 25 March | 7.30pm

Facing Darkness by Jean-Gabriel Périot

Produced by Alter Ego Production, Alina Films, Kumjana Novakova, Pravo Ljudski
2023 | France | 109′

The Siege of Sarajevo lasted from April 1992 to February 1996. Young men were called up to protect their city, a few of them chose to take along their cameras to face the violence they witnessed.
30 years later, they share their wartime filming experiences and thoughts on cinema as a means of survival and resistance.

Followed by a discussion with Jean-Gabriel Périot, and Pablo La Parra Perez, cinema researcher

Tuesday 26 March | 7.30pm

This land is ours by Cécile Laveissière and Jean-Marie Pernelle

Produced by En Quête Prod
2024 | France | 78′

It is the last occupied roundabout in France, in the south of the island of Reunion, it is occupied by a community of activists. Surrounded by the incessant flow of cars, they debate ecology, the decolonial question and act for sovereignty and food autonomy.

Followed by a discussion with Cécile Laveissière and Jean-Marie Pernelle

Wednesday 27 March | 9pm

Point virgule by Claire Doyon

Produced by Claire Doyon
2023 | France | 11′

Point Virgule is based on images shot in super 8, and a text from Silvia Federici’s book, Beyond the periphery of the skin. The film questions the way in which capitalism transforms our bodies into a work machine.

La Concorde by Sylvestre Meinzer

Produced by Sylvestre Meinzer
2023 | France | 4′

On June 30, 2023, on the Place de la Concorde, a spontaneous demonstration takes place against police exactions. La Concorde has a history. The square is a symptom of the excesses and lies of successive governments. There is no concord. And yet…

Cries Tear Through The Silence by Natacha Thiéry

Produced by Natacha Thiéry
2023 | France | 55′

The film captures four years (late 2019-late 2023) of an unprecedented wave of feminist and antifascist activism, as expressed onto walls through collages sharing the same graphic style.
Political gestures, both individual and collective, these calls to rise up against patriarchy are changing all at one time the public space and subjectivities under our very eyes.

Followed by a discussion with Natacha Thiéry, Claire Doyon, Sylvestre Meinzer and Hélène Fleckinger, researcher specializing in activism in cinema and gender issues.

Thursday 28 March | 7.30pm

Far From Michigan by Silva Khnkanosian

Produced by La Huit Production, Cined Production, Margins Media, Fotogram
2023 | France, Armenia | 77′

Armenia and Azerbaijan are engaged in a multi-secular conflict. A war breaks out again in autumn 2020. In Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, civilians are holed up in cellars. No one thought of defeat. After 44 days, the radio announces Armenia’s surrender.

Followed by a discussion with Silva Khnkanosian, Claire Mouradian, historian specializing in the history of Armenia, Vadim Kamenka, journalist, head of foreign department at L’Humanité

Friday 29 March | 7.30pm

No Other Land by Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal, Yuval Abraham and Rachel Szor

Produced by Yabayay, Antipode Films
2024 | Palestine, Norway | 96′

Basel, a young Palestinian activist on the West Bank, has been fighting the mass expulsion of his community by the Israeli authorities since childhood. He documents the slow-motion eradication of the villages where soldiers deployed by the Israeli government are demolishing houses and driving out their residents.

Followed by a discussion with Basel Adra and Yuval Abraham, Charlotte Schwarzinger and Marion Slitine, teacher-researchers at the EHESS

Saturday 30 March | 2pm

In the 21st century, what is cinema for?

Discussion hosted by Raphaël Nieuwjaer, critic at the Cahiers du cinéma.

With filmmakers Basel Adra and Yuval Abraham (subject to confirmation), Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval, Avi Mograbi, Mohanad Yaqubi, and Marie-José Mondzain, philosopher. And the french premiere of Cosmocide, by Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval.

This programme will only be accessible to a French speaking audience.

Cosmocide by Nicolas Klotz and Elisabeth Perceval

Produced by Perspective Films, NKEP (Mata Atlantica) | 2023 | France | 28′

Between barbed wire and the invisible shore, the directors muse on our turbulent times, reinstating their belief in the image as a transformative, uncharted force of this world. (Victor Morozov)

Saturday 30 March | 4.30pm

Les 54 premières années – Manuel abrégé d’occupation militaire by Avi Mograbi

Produced by Les Films d’Ici
2021 | France, Germany, Finland, Israel | 110′

What is the meaning of military occupation? Through the testimonies of the soldiers who implemented it,
director Avi Mograbi provides insights on how a colonialist occupation works and the logic at work behind those practices.

Followed by a discussion with Avi Mograbi

Saturday 30 March | 9pm

R21 AKA Restoring Solidarity by Mohanad Yaqubi

Produced by Idioms Film, Escautville, Sak a Do, Kitchen BXL
2022 | Palestine, Belgium, Qatar | 68′

The Tokyo Reels are a collection of 20 16mm films. They were preserved in Tokyo by the Japanese Palestine solidarity movement between the 1960s and 1980s. The restoration of these films brings to light the motivations, aspirations and disappearance of a generation and its struggles.

Followed by a discussion with Mohanad Yaqubi