Skip to Content
Poster for ON STRIKE! CHRIS MARKER & THE MEDVEDKIN GROUP
Watch trailer for ON STRIKE! CHRIS MARKER & THE MEDVEDKIN GROUP Watch trailer

ON STRIKE! CHRIS MARKER & THE MEDVEDKIN GROUP

Dates with showtimes for ON STRIKE! CHRIS MARKER & THE MEDVEDKIN GROUP
  • Today, Jul 21

Director: Chris Marker Run Time: 76 min. Release Year: 1969 Language: French

Presented by CCP

In some of the most interesting and informative films to have emerged from the French New Left, director Chris Marker documented two separate strikes which broke out in the western French city of Besançon over the course of the final two years of the 1960s. The first film, Be Seeing You, follows a failed sit-down strike at a textile mill and gives an interesting inside look at the operations of an organizing committee attempting to oversee an effective action at a workplace that does not yet have a functioning, unified trade union. The second film, Class of Struggle, was developed in conjunction with the workers at a watch factory who embark on a failed strike the following year and focuses specifically on the developing radicalism of one young female trade unionist as she struggles to continue the strike against overwhelming odds.

 

In 1967, Chris Marker and Mario Marret filmed BE SEEING YOU (A BIENTOT J’ESPERE), about a strike and factory occupation-the first in France since 1936-by textile workers in the city of Besancon, the goals of which were unusual because the workers refused to disassociate their salary and job security demands from a social and cultural agenda.

Nevertheless when the film was completed, and the filmmakers returned to screen it for the workers in Besancon, many of them were not happy with it. LA CHARNIERE, the audio recording of their intense debate after the screening, is included on this disc as an extra, accompanied by photographs of the film workshops, shot by Ethel Blum.

In response Marker and his colleagues reorganized their efforts, and began training workers to collaboratively make their own films, under the name “The Medvedkin Group”, after Alexander Medvedkin, who invented the cine-train, a mobile production unit that toured the USSR in 1932 filming workers and farmers. CLASS OF STRUGGLE, their first film, picks up a year later and focuses on the organizing efforts of workers at a nearby watch factory, particularly the story of one recently radicalized woman, Suzanne Zedet. She articulates the radical scope of the workers’ demands, which include access to the tools of cultural production.

 

Trailer

powered by Filmbot