Les Révoltés de la Rhodia”
On February 25, 1967, three thousand workers in Besançon occupied the Rhodiaceta textile factory owned by Rhône-Poulenc, then one of the largest French corporations, and declared a strike that lasted over a month.8 This was the first facto- ry occupation in France since 1936
Tracing the historical conjunctions and disjunctions that led to the genesis of the group, this essay will focus on the first two films produced through the common labor of those previously kept separate: À bientôt j’espère (1967–68), a documentary on the struggles at Rhodiaceta by Chris Marker, Mario Marret, and SLON; and Classe de lutte (1968), the Medvedkin Group’s first collective film. As a means of coming to terms with the specificity of the Medvedkin Group’s cinematic practice, this essay will end with a discussion of Jean-Luc Godard’s con- temporaneous work in the Groupe Dziga Vertov, with its parallel but ultimately irreconcilable claims for self-reflexivity, collectivity, and class consciousness.
In the recent Winter 2012 issue of October, Trevor Stark has published an impressive essay entitled “‘Cinema in the Hands of the People’”: Chris Marker, the Medvedkine Group, and the Potential of Militant Film.” Thankfully not put behind a pay wall, the article is available for download from mitpressjournals.org.
“Cinema in the Hands of the People”: Chris Marker, the Medvedkin Group, and the Potential of Militant Film*
here the text
below you can see
Happiness (Alexander Medvedkin, 1934)
In 1961, at a film festival in Brussels, Marker saw Medvedkin’s Happiness (Schastye; 1935), and described it as “a superb film as beautiful as Eisenstein’s, as popular as Mussorgsky’s music, deeply moving. . . . Where was the author? Dead? Alive?”