Chris Brady cdbrady at
Sat Nov 16 12:43:03 MST 2002

I just received the following.
Any comments or reviews?
(the likelihood of myself seeing this flick where I am is slim, at best)

 First Run / Icarus Films has recently released LA COMMUNE.
Based on a thorough historical research into the Paris Commune of 1871,
this film leads to an inevitable reflection about the present.

A Film by Peter Watkins

In March, 1871 Parisians led an uprising against the national
government, which fled the capital and re-established itself in
Versailles. The radicals established a proletarian government in Paris,
known as the Commune of 1871.

For the film LA COMMUNE we travel back in time to 1871. A journalist for
Versailles Television broadcasts a soothing and official view of events
while a Commune television is set up to provide the perspectives of the
Paris rebels. On a stage-like set, more than 200 actors interpret
characters of the Commune, especially the Popincourt neighborhood in the
XIth arrondissement. They voice their own thoughts and feelings
concerning the social and political reforms. The telling of this story
rests primarily on depicting the people of the Commune, and those who
suppressed them.

Deliberately, this film is an attempt to challenge existing notions of
documentary film, as well as the notions of 'neutrality' and
'objectivity' so beloved by the mass media today. The film is not
intended as an apologia on behalf of the Paris Commune. But at the same
time, it attempts to show that the Paris Commune, for all its human
frailty, its internal conflicts and its blundering, was an event of
major importance, not least because of the way in which its leading
reformers tried to work with social process, by a direct involvement
with the community and its needs.

For Peter Watkins, to make a film is to question his own work as a
filmmaker. LA COMMUNE represents an uncompromising challenge to modern
media and a penetrating critique.

 Livia Alexander First Run / Icarus Films 32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel: 1-718-488-8900 Fax: 1-718-488-8642 Web: email: livia at

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