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Day 1, Session 2: Live from Place de La Republique on Bastille Day
Thu, July 14, 2016 @ 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM$6 – $15
Live report from Paris with Dennis Broe
Dennis will report on the current wave of strikes, Nuit Debout, and the Labor Law, called the El-Kourmi Law, named for the Labor Minister, would have the effect of lowering wages. Strikes are now disrupting gas delivery, power, garbage pickup, airlines and train transport, all led by the most radical union, the CGT, and all part of a life and death struggle to force the cancellation of the work law which a few months ago passed the general assembly not by a vote but by an archaic decree which allows legislation that is too controversial to come to a vote to simply be passed. This decree, section 49.3 has now been invoked four times in the course of passing unfavorable, so called “reform”, legislation to “open up” the French labor market.
This year is also the 80th anniversary of the great strike month of June 1936 where workers occupied most of the major factories and which the female philosopher Simone Weil famously termed “un joie, un joie pur” a joy, a pure joy.
The show which I would be doing over SKYPE will consist of a short documentary including interviews with three key players in the events of the past months: Francois Ruffin, editor of the satiric journal Fakir and director of Merci Patron (Thanks Boss), a Roger and Me type film that inspired Nuit Debout; a member of the CGT, the union that is leading the strikes; and an academic who will provide a critical analysis of the labor law. I and my director Frederic Lean, an award-winning filmmaker whose Iraq: the Wind of Hope has one of highest ratings for any film on IMDB, will shoot the documentary in La Republique where Nuit Debout began and is headquartered and we will screen the documentary, which is mainly sound, at the top of the hour. I will then speak about what has been happening over the last few months and link it to the period of Strikes of 1936 as well as describing a film that has just been rereleased with a new print here, Jean Renoir’s La Vie Est Nous (Life is Ours), a recounting of the worker’s movement in 1936, which last week got a negative review in Le Monde, meaning that it is still controversial.
Dennis Broe is a critic and political correspondent on Prairie Millers Arts Express. He teaches film and television in Paris at the Sorbonne, and has written a number of books on the American and Global Working Class and Film Noir on Maverick and countering the myth of the American West and on how Abstract Expressionism helped cancel American social art. Every year he is a featured correspondent from the Cannes film festival and around Parisian cinema and European television, art and literature the year round.