France Against the Robots

France Against the Robots

THIS IS A FREE PRESENTATION OF FRANCE AGAINST THE ROBOTS

At dusk, a man (Christophe Clavert) walks alone along the bank of a lake, and the camera (by Renato Berta) follows him. He then breaks his silence and pronounces, as announced in the opening credits, the diagnosis that, as early as 1945, Georges Bernanos carried on the current world and the “system” which governs it. Will the camera, slightly behind the soliloquent walker, catch up to him? Will it overtake him to reveal his face, as he demands that we see the truth – up front? Or on the contrary, will he maintain the lead particular to clairvoyance? We will find out when the tracking shot and the monologue have ended. A final assertion (“A world won for Technology is lost for Freedom”) uttered from across the French shore of Lake Geneva, as Bernanos addressed to France, from Brazil, his premonitory essay, France Against Robots. The page extracted from it (the second) is then heard again. Another take makes it possible to listen to the walking man again and to follow him not again, but anew. Because the light is no longer that of twilight and, for those who can see, one never walks twice along the bank of the same lake.

Georges Bernanos had already inspired Dialogue d’ombres (Dialogue of Shadows) that Jean-Marie Straub filmed in 2015, revisiting and modifying a project developed with Danièle Huillet in 1954. As for Lake Geneva, in Rolle, it is a place, as he says, he has managed to “tame” in recent years (see Where Are You, Jean-Marie Straub?, Pompidou Center, 2016). Hence Gens du Lac (People of the Lake), 2017, and, even shorter, this film dedicated to Jean-Luc Godard by the hand of the author.

– Jacques Bontemps