A French Revolution
By Emmanuel Gras
France, 2022, 105’
Friday, Oct. 07, Postmodernissimo Cinema, Via del Carmine 4, 9:30 p.m.
(Repeat) Sunday, Oct. 09, Postmodernissimo Cinema, Via del Carmine 4, 3.30 p.m.
Original Title: Un Peuple
French production: Les Film Velvet
Productor: Frédéric Jouve
Associate productor: Marie Lecoq
Production assistants: Njoki Nyoli, Maximilien Allix
Director: Emmanuel Gras
Artistic collaboration: Antarès Bassis
Director of photography: Emmanuel Gras
Cameraman: Pascal Auffray
Camera reinforcements: Basile Carre Agostini, Pascal Auffray
Color correction: Gadiel Bendelac
Chief sound operator: Antarès Bassis
Sound editing and additional sound recording: Manuel Vidal
Mixing: Simon Apostolou
Editing: Karen Benainous
Editor assistants: Mathilde Michel, Coline Leauté
Post production director: Bénédicte Pollet
Music supervision: Thibault Deboaisne
October 2018, France.
Macron’s government decrees a tax increase on fuel prices. A wave of protests begins to grow. Citizens mobilize across the country: it is the beginning of the Yellow Vest movement.
In Chartres, a group of men and women gather daily. Among them, Agnes, Benoît, Nathalie, and Allan engage in collective struggle. As an entire nation, they discover that their voice must be heard….
On November 17, 2018, I heard about the roundabout blockades and saw pictures of the demonstrations. Like many others, I was intrigued by this mobilization and, the following Saturday, I went to the Parisian demonstration to see who these already famous “Yellow Vest” were. There I saw people who did not look like the leftists I saw taking to the streets. Most came from the provinces and arrived in the capital in small groups, finding themselves on the road to the Champs-Élysées. There I saw them erect barricades and set them on fire while they sang the Marseillaise. Outside the union framework, without the security services to regulate the anger, I discovered people who call themselves “the people” and who assert their legitimacy, as such, to take possession of this symbol of French power and wealth that it is this large avenue that leads to the Arc de Triomphe.
I had never seen such an expression of popular revolt. But this event was not a favorable moment for meeting and discussion. Later I looked for a roundabout not too far from Paris to be able to go there regularly by train. I found myself on the outskirts of Chartres and went to meet the Yellow Vests present at a roundabout. There were about thirty of them and they welcomed me warmly. More than making a film, I really wanted to understand first. They had a lot to say. They talked about the difficulties of daily life, those of each month, the humiliation experienced, the feeling of being forgotten. I was not simply meeting a reality I knew little about, but I was finding out what they had to say publicly: people who for the first time took the floor to launch their experience in front of the world.
Emmanuel Gras turned to cinema after studying history by joining ENS Louis Light, Image section. After graduating in 2000, he went to Lebanon as a cinema worker and there he worked on various documentaries as chief operator. Since then, he has written and produced fiction and documentaries regularly awarded at French and international festivals. His films focus on contemporary social issues while manifesting radical formal biases.
His first feature film BOVINES was presented at Cannes in 2011 in the selection of ACID, and also nominated for the César 2013 for best documentary. 300 HOMMES, his second film co-directed with Aline Dalbis, is part of the official Selection of the Cinéma du Réel in 2014. MAKALA, Emmanuel’s third feature film is selected for Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2017 and received the Grand Prix there, as well as a special mention from the Jury of the Œil d’Or, before embarking on a major festival career. UN PEUPLE, his latest documentary takes a look at the Yellow Vests movement.
Un peuple (2021)
Lettre video (2018)
300 Hommes (2014)
Être vivant (2013)
Soudain ses mains (2007)
Tweety Lovely Superstar (2005)
Une petite note d’humanitè (2004)
La motivation! (2002)