Gaining new patterns
The only films in the Forum des jungen Films targeted at a specific audience were brought by the Cooperative Slon from Paris. These short works from the series “New Society” are films made for workers by workers (together with filmmakers). Information and mobilisation for the class struggle is their common concern and the common, extremely well-executed final formula of all of these films.
The themes are not dealt with on the basis of theoretical treatises, but in extremely concrete terms through authentic interviews. The Renault workers’ strike in June, the regimented working hours, the daily haste to work, to eat and to go home, give a clear and concrete picture of themes like class struggle, the inhumanity of capitalism, and exploitation. Of course, these words are not always accompanied by adequate footage.
An extensive report, for example, provides information on the entrepreneurs’ rigorous will to increase profits at any price, even if the price is the hands of the workers. A young worker without proper training was placed at a machine and lost his hands. Accompanying this description is no view of a factory hall, or of the machine in question, but rather a drive through the village. Nonetheless, an important approach to making political films. (…)
(dk, Spandauer Volksblatt, 4 July 1971. Press review 1971)
The leftist Society for the Promotion of New Works in Paris showed short films which lend themselves to a cinema that is beyond the traditional film industry and that considers agitating against the bourgeoisie as its task. Problems of modern society are critically addressed through interviews with a publisher of primarily Marxist and revolutionary literature, as well as with a proletarian child who can no longer find contact to his overworked parents. One documentary delves into the background and the course of the great strike by Peugeot workers in 1969. These are current events reported by weekly newsreels in a more abbreviated and less politically tendentious form.
(G.L., B.Z., 3 July 1971. Press review)