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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Chinois, Encore Un Effort Pour Etre Révolutionnaires !

Fortnight 1977, Feature film, 2h


When Trotsky decided to slaughter the Cronstadt revolutionnaries and Lenin to exterminate the anarchists of the Ukraine, few understood the process by which the bolshevist party had ended up by being counter-revolutionary. About China, how can we explain the course taken by the People’s republic, founded among the genuine enthusiasm of the population in 1949, to a totalitarian dictatorship directed by Lin Piao-type fascists. How can we tsart trying to explain the evolution of Mao Tse-tung ; the most libertarian of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party at 20, the well-loved bandit becoming the sinister potentate of the most totalitarian rule the world has ever known. This is precisely what René Vienet’s project is to reconstruct the history of the « Cultural revolution » and its origins, the circumstances of Lin Piao’s execution, the revolutionary riots of the 5th of April 1976 and Mrs Mao’s arrest. The cinematographic method use dis to turn official stock-shots inside out, give back their lost colouring to newsreels, whose meaning was long since lost to the western public after successive ideological rinses. Cinematographically, René Vienet proves that the « thoughts of Chairman Mao » san be recycled. Tha film makes it possible to understand the ineluctable nature of the revolution being prepared by Chinese proletarisn like Li Yi-zhe, author of « Chinois, Si vous saviez… », to whom this film is dedicated. This film is also dedicated to Tseng Jui-hsiang, executed in 1965 for having proved freedom to love is inseparable from love of freedom. Edwin HIU ALINE


René Vienet

René Viénet, born in 1944, is a French sinologist who is famous as a situationist writer and filmmaker. Viénet used the situationist technique of détournement — the diversion of already existing cultural elements to new subversive purposes. After completing his studies in Sinology in Paris, he moved to China but he was expelled in 1966 for his critical approach towards the Maoist regime. In the 1970s, he worked at CNRS from where he was fired on two different occasions in 1971 and 1978 for violently attacking those who defended Mao, particularly through the books from the publishing house Champ libre where he directed the series Bibliothèque asiatique. From 1974 to 1978, he also taught Chinese at the École polytechnique.

René Vienet

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Production : FILMS DES ISLES