Skip to main content

Film still,

12-8pm (including breaks for discussion and refreshments).

Disclosures film and reading library I've got the books you've got the brains... closes with a screening of La Commune (Paris 1871) (2000). Directed by Peter Watkins, the film was shot in just 13 days using an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Paris and employing a largely non-professional cast.

At almost six hours long, La Commune is a historical re-enactment about the Paris Commune of 1871, the short-lived socialist takeover of Paris whose influence on socialist thought and grassroots participation is both idealised and immense. The actors were encouraged to make their own research into their roles, and form two TV stations, one representing the Communards, and another acting as the voice of the ruling classes that had decamped to Versailles.

Through these methods the film simultaneously interrogates the role of reenactment and embodiment in engaging political participation, then as now; and constructs a living critique of mass media processes.

...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... Peter Watkins describing the filming of La Commune on his website.

The screening will be broken up with short breaks for discussion and refreshments. No booking necessary however seating is limited.