News from Paris : Le Mois du film documentaire

November is the month of documentary films in France, Le Mois du Doc opens this weekend for the 11th time: More than 1200 sites, nearly 3000 showings and an audience of around 150.000. This event was created by the association Images en Bibliothèques with the objective to coordinate visibility on a national level and to highlight the fine collections of documentary films that French libraries (now a days called médiathèque) have in their possession. These collections are often considerable and rare, thanks to the deliberate politics of the French Ministry of Culture giving resources and freedom to the video librarian over the last 20 years. Le mois du Doc has grown into a major event helped by an overall growing popular interest in documentary films (Arte has had an important role here) and now includes cinemas and French cultural institutions abroad. A large majority of the showings are followed by debates, permitting filmmakers and audience to meet.

One of the places where le Mois du Doc is hosted in Paris, is at la Bibliothèque publique d’information (Bpi) at the Pompidou Centre. From November 6th to November 28th the cycle Filmer l’invisible (Filming the invisible) runs in the Cinéma 1 of the Centre. The program is a journey in contemporary documentary organised by Catherine Blangonnet. The films (by Rithy Panh, Alexandre Sokourov and many others) are from all around the world, but all from the last decade, 30 films in 23 showings.

Link to the Pompidou Centre

Here is a translation of the presentation of the program:

The last decade has shown a great formal invention to explore the different levels of reality: the intimate, the political, the sociological, the mythological. It is this imagination and this freedom this program aims to reflect in its diversity.

Despite the title, you will find no mythical, supernatural or religious dimension. What is in question here, is the capacity of documentary films to reveal what was to remain invisible without the eye of the filmmaker, to make visible something of the world until then unnoticed.

As different as the themes they go about are, all the selected films goes beyond the limits of their “subject” and offers the possibility of unexpected perceptions.

This program will try to establish that there is no need to show or to demonstrate to be able to understand or feel and that documentary, although it is an invitation to reflection, has less to do with knowledge than with the relation with the other. 

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Sara Thelle
Sara Thelle
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