Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, must decide Wednesday the fate of this violent and ambiguous documentary on the radical Islamist movement.
Should we, in the state of emergency, censor a documentary featuring jihadist propaganda pictures? The government even asked the question Tuesday night against the movie Salafis . Directed and co-produced by François Margolin and the Mauritanian journalist Lemine Ould Salem, the documentary was still awaiting its operating visa on Tuesday night, when its distribution was planned in five theaters Wednesday. Filmed in Mali, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania between 2012 and 2015, the film gives a voice to Muslims advocating a return to the fundamentals of Islam. It shows plainly – and especially without explanatory voiceover. – Crazy jihadists commitment and reality of Sharia
On January 19, the classification of operating visas Committee, meeting for the first time in conclave, had advocated a ban spectators under 18 years accompanied by a warning to the public. A representative of the Ministry of Interior, a member of the commission, was particularly felt that the propaganda of the Islamic State of images could take on advocating terrorism. Reserved for pornographic films of great violence or violating human dignity, to the prohibition under 18 is rare for a documentary, the previous latter being the ban in 2002 for a documentary by Michel Reilhac on brothels.
A few days later, Salafis was shown at the Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels. Preceded by its ban to minors, it created a shock wave and lively discussions. So much so that the second projection was almost canceled. “Deaf, blind and stubborn, an employee of the Interior Ministry ranks Salafis in the” glorification of terrorism “. Stupidity is everywhere, “squeaked director Claude Lanzmann the denouncing on the website World ” shameful censorship “.
At the request of the family of Ahmed Merabet , the filmmakers redacted from the film of the scene showing the performance of the police by Kouachi brothers, 7 January 2015. ultraviolentes scenes, like that of a man about to be cut by hand, have also been removed. Following these changes, the documentary was re-submitted for opinion to the operating visas Commission. The latter met Tuesday evening to watch the new version of Salafis . Reportedly, she would have recommended not to ban the film to under 18 but to impose a warning.
“We almost died for these images, and we find ourselves in position of accused “
But these cuts, accounting for about one minute, do not change the substance. How will these images be seen in theaters? Can jihadist be a documentary film, a fortiori devoid of any comment?
Today, the ball is in the camp of the Minister of Culture. On his return from India, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, she had found on his office’s new decision taking operating visas Commission Tuesday night. And had, according to his entourage, “decide as soon as possible,” probably in the day, if she was following her or not. Difficult decision: it is never easy for a minister of Culture, to ride the horse of censorship, the period and the subject are worth the decision to be thoughtful. The last cases of government censorship for documentaries dating back to the colonial period and the war in Algeria, particularly with movies and documentaries René Vautier.
“We almost died for these images, and we we find in the position of accused “ton François Margolin, who explains to the Le Figaro he could not imagine” having problems with the French government, “but rather with the protagonists of the documentary. “It is imperative that the ban on under 18 is lifted, he concludes. Otherwise, it is the death of the film. “