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La Commune (Paris, 1871)

December 16, 2010

I recently heard about this film and was pretty interested, as the Paris Commune is something I have an interest in. I was able to find a copy and, although I have just watched the first hour or so, of the more then five hours, I am really enjoying it so far. It has a very interesting take, replaying the events of the Paris Commune but introducing the idea of a modern mass media, and of a people’s media. I will comment more on the movie once I finish watching it all, but in the mean time, is the description of the film, taken from wikipedia:

La Commune (Paris, 1871) is a 2000 historical drama film directed by Peter Watkins about the Paris Commune. It is a historical re-enactment in the style of a documentary, and was shot in just 13 days in an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Paris. The large cast is mainly non-professional, including many immigrants from North Africa, and they did much of their own research for the project. As Watkins says, “The Paris Commune has always been severely marginalized by the French education system, despite – or perhaps because – it is a key event in the history of the European working class, and when we first met, most of the cast admitted that they knew little or nothing about the subject. It was very important that the people become directly involved in our research on the Paris Commune, thereby gaining an experiential process in analyzing those aspects of the current French system which are failing in their responsibility to provide citizens with a truly democratic and participatory process.”[1] Like many of Watkins’ later films, it is quite lengthy – a long cut runs 5 hours and 45 minutes, though the more common version is 3 and a half hours long. The long version is available on DVD.

If you are interested in some reading before, and while watching this film, I will link Marx’s comments on the Paris Commune here.

I will be posting a couple essays over the weekend, and another one closer to xmas

Peace out,

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