Le Monde | • Updated | By
The general public has become aware of its existence in 1972 when To Be Twenty in the Aures was presented in Cannes, the Week criticism. The film told the desertion of a French soldier in Algeria who refused the summary execution of an Algerian prisoner. But this is not the story of René Vautier. He spent the Algerian conflict on the other side, its route having worn long in the camp of the colonized.
Born January 15, 1928 in Camaret in Brittany, this worker son joined the Resistance in 1943. After the war, he attended the IDHEC and joined the Communist Party. In 1950, the League of Education load make a film about French education in sub-Saharan Africa. Vautier away the order and evokes a little-known fact: forced labor, the violence of the colonial authorities against the population between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. The film he relates what was then called the AOF, Africa 50, is not only censored (it will remain forty years), but worth its author sentenced to one year in prison, executed in prisons military.
A FOCUS ON ALGERIA
At the outbreak of the Algerian conflict, René Vautier left for North Africa , first in Tunisia, where two shorts before winning Algeria, to scrub the sides of the FLN. He shot two documentaries, A nation, Algeria , now lost, and Algeria in flames . This collaboration led to it being pursued by the French authorities and René Vautier remains in exile until 1966.
Shortly after his return to France, he joined in 1967 in Besançon Medvedkine group formed around Chris Marker. This cooperative designed to give a cinematic image of workers’ struggles inspired René Vautier who finally settled in Brittany where he founded the film production unit Britain.
It is in this context that it produces his two feature films To Be Twenty in the Aures and The Madwoman of Toujane (1973). To be twenty years, Louis Marcorelles say in these columns it is the “movie freer, less conformist we saw in France a long time” . The filmmaker also turns documentaries about workers’ struggles when you said Valery (1975) or When Women took anger (1976) co-directed with Soazig Chappedelaine.
In 1972, René Vautier comes into hunger strike after the refusal of a visa for operating the film October in Paris , directed by Jacques Panijel after the massacre of Algerian demonstrators in Paris on 17 October 1961. Vautier would finally release the film through his distribution company, and continues his hunger strike after receiving the minister of culture of the time, Jacques Duhamel, ensures that the political criteria not be taken into account in the decisions of the film board.
In 1981, the firm UPCB lack of funding, but René Vautier do not thereby cease to turn, films on nuclear testing in the Pacific, on immigration, on the Resistance. In 1985, at the trial that pits Le Canard chained Jean-Marie Le Pen about torture by the latter during the war in Algeria, the weekly produced the testimony of a victim Lieutenant Le Pen, Ali Rouchaï the filmmaker turned in Algiers. René Vautier is also the author of several books including Citizens camera – Memory, published in 1988
Read our interview with René Vautier from 2007. ” I film what I see, what I know, what is true “