Sochaux, 11 juin 68

Sochaux, 11th of June 1968
Groupe Medvedkine Sochaux
France 1970

21.02.2020 13:00 Eng. subtitles Kino Arsenal 1
23.02.2020 11:00 Eng. subtitles Akademie der Künste

20 min. French.
(screening together with ON VOUS PARLE DE PARIS: MASPERO, LES MOTS ONT UN SENS and LES TROIS-QUARTS DE LA VIE)

As the “Medvedkin Group”, a group of workers from Sochaux shot films about their daily lives at work and labour struggles with the support of filmmakers (including Chris Marker). Sochaux, 11 juin 68 is about a militant strike in the Peugeot factory that led to several deaths. (ah)

The Groupe Medvedkine de Sochaux was a group of filmmakers founded in 1968, which was active in the eastern French city of Sochaux. The collective consisted of about forty young militant workers from the local Peugeot factory as well as politically committed filmmakers, including Bruno Muel and Chris Marker. The name of the group was chosen as a homage to the work of Soviet director Alexander Medvedkin. Another Groupe Medvedkine was active in Besançon.

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)

SLON Films

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)

Director Groupe Medvedkine Sochaux.

Films

1972: Week-end à Sochaux (53 min.). 1973: Le train en marche / Die Kamera in der Fabrik (89 min., with Chris Marker), Septembre chilien / Chilian September (39 Min., with Bruno Muel, Théo Robichet). 1974: Avec le sang des autres / The Blood of the Others (52 min., with Bruno Muel).

Photo: © ISKRA