La Commune (Paris, 1871), 2000, is a historical drama film directed by Peter Watkins about the Paris Commune. Gathering together non-professional actors, including many immigrants, the director before the filming asked the cast to do their own research on this event – which has been always marginalised – in French history.
Criticizing the manipulative power of media and the hierarchical interpretation and narration of history, spectators as actors and narrators re-enact the dynamics of the revolt re-tracing them through their perspective.
On a movie set where historical costumes are mixed up with mics that interview people for the on-air live news, actors look into the camera and via its medium interrogates the spectator about ideas of revolution and power. These questions were raised during the Commune as they are today.
Peter Watkins, La Commune (Paris 1871), 2000, 5’’ 45’