[Marxism] A comment on La Commune from a pen-l'er

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 6 12:10:44 MST 2006


Thanks to Louis for posting this and his review of the film/TV docu-drama
series.

In France the Commune was long a taboo subject, one of the largest
"repressed memories" of modern Europe (like the Spanish Civil War which
could not be discussed in Spain, even after Franco).  The Commune was
hardly touched upon in school history and no public commemorial sites were
authorized.  Mostly this was oppression from the right, but for their own
reasons the Communist and Socialist Parties were not keen to publicly
embrace the Commune.

In May 1871, at the end of the Commune thousands of Communard prisoners
were shot against the wall of a famous Paris cemetery by the Versailles
regimes.  Finally, a few years ago, a small plaque was placed at the site.
Around the same time, government TV accepted to air the docu-drama Louis
has reviewed.   But for over 100 years unofficial public memory remained
constant - for example in the 1930s at the height of the popular front
movement (it was a movement besides being a government) 600,000 people
showed up at the wall on the day the prisoners had been shot.  Europeans
have long memories.

I happened to see the first two episodes of the docu-drama on TV in Paris,
but missed the rest.  It is well worth catching, almost more as a 1960s
type experience (but don't expect fancy "production values).

Paul

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