A classic among the many documentary festivals – and in Paris. The selection for this year’s edition, taking place March 18-27, primarily at the Centre Pompidou, has been made: there is an international competition, a French, one for First film and one for short films.
Happy to see that the international competition includes films from India, Vietnam, Chile, Syria and Mexico – and that the festival is loyal (as the filmmakers are who submit their films to this festival) to directors like Austrian Ruth Beckermann, Éric Pauwels from Belgium, Vietnamese Trin T. Ming-ha, and to – outside competition – Sergei Loznitsa (”The Event”), ”In Jackson Height” by Frederick Wiseman and ”Between Fences” by Avi Mograbi that will be the opening film.
And as a tribute to Haskell Wexler, ”Rebel Citizen” made by friend and long time collaborator Pamela Yates, whose words I quote (from the website of the festival):
For more than 30 years I’d been having conversations with Haskell about life, love, politics and cinema, and what it means to be a politically engaged documentary filmmaker. Every morning when Haskell woke up, he railed against the injustices in the world and what we have to do to end them. Earlier this year, I filmed one of our conversations over several days and turned it into a documentary called Rebel Citizen. In Rebel Citizen, he told some great stories: Did you know that in 1963 Haskell made The Bus, a film about a group of civil rights activists as they traveled overland from California to the March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech? This documentary has great resonance with today’s Black Lives Matter movement. He made a host of films about US intervention in Latin America, in Nicaragua and Brazil. These films profoundly affected how I chose to take artistic risks as a committed filmmaker….
By the way, Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s “Une Histoire de Vent” from 1988 will be the closing film at the festival. Cinéma du Réel knows how to celebrate film history! And literature – the reason for the PHOTO of Orhan Parmuk is this: “Orhan Pamuk, Turkish writer and 2006 Nobel Prize will attend Cinéma du Réel on the occasion of the special screening of the film Innocence of Memories directed by Grant Gee.