In the presence of the director.
(Q&A in French)
Song for the Jungle
"I will never know 'what the cinema can do', except this: It enables those who make it, if they have the courage, to share with others moments of work and of life that 'real' life rarely permits." Using actions to match his words, Jean-Gabriel Périot reveals an entrenched social reality that we tend to not want to confront. He set up his camera in Calais a few weeks before the dismantling of the Jungle, the site that was home or place of passage to migrants and where they waited to cross over into England, or simply to meet somebody who would finally respond to their plight. Meanwhile they wandered in the desolate landscapes, perhaps to survive our indifference.
Nos Défaites (Our Defeats)
In May and June 2018, Jean-Gabriel Périot collaborated with ten students in a film class at a high school in Ivry-sur-Seine on a project that unites cinema and politics. The students worked both in front of and behind the camera, restaging scenes of strikes, resistance, and labour disputes from films dating from the late 1960s to the late 1970s, including films by Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Tanner. Nos défaites assembles the results, and adds interviews in which the director queries the students about the scenes they’ve just acted in, about such concepts as “class,” “labour union,” and “political engagement,” about wider social contexts. It’s a simple, yet trenchant setup, affording viewers a glimpse of how a younger generation sees politics and the political cinema of the past.
In his work, filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot explores the major socio-political themes of the 20th and 21st centuries, starting from existing archives and incorporating testimonies and encounters. He has developed his own style of editing, where “everything is conveyed through the power of images, without speech, without comments: cinema as thought”. Périot has directed many short films which border on documentary, animation and experimentation, as well as four feature films: Nos défaites, De la joie dans ce combat, Lumières d'été, and Une jeunesse allemande.
The director asked modern young people to recreate exact scenes from several films from cinema associated with May 1968, including À bientôt, j'espère by Chris Marker and Mario Marret (1968).