Veillées d’armes (The Troubles We’ve Seen)

19 April, 2013 - 14:00
KASKcinema
Resistance. If there is a single word that characterizes the work of Marcel Ophuls, this is it: resistance to every form of injustice and banalisation, resistance to the prevailing dogmas of documentary cinema. It is an attitude that is marked both by a whole-hearted abhorrence (for indifference) and by passionate love (for narrative film).

Veillées d’armes (The Troubles We’ve Seen)

Marcel Ophuls
,
UK, DE, FR
,
1994
,
video
,
colour
,
234'

"Ethnic cleansing, that brings back memories," Marcel Ophuls muses on the train to Sarajevo in this epic, ironic investigation of war and the journalistic impulse.. Ophuls traveled to the besieged city in 1993 to mingle with the motley crew of reporters camped out at the Holiday Inn; his interviews with French, British, American, and Bosnian journalists deliver trenchant observations on the political, ethical, and psychological factors behind the making of news. Other interview subjects include Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who claims his country's freedom of the press is "unparalleled," but says "don't trust my explanation." "I won't." Ophuls replies. Excerpting films by his father Max Ophuls, adopting the Marx Brothers as muse, the director employs a strategy of playful self-reference in the midst of horror; between feints at media and mediation, he moves in for a sucker punch of reality. As legendary reporter Martha Gellhorn, who survived both the Spanish Civil War and a marriage to Ernest Hemingway, puts it: "the brave are funny." (Juliet Clark)