By Heolruz and translated by Maia Sefton
Generations correspond to the idea that a certain decade is represented by a group of people. We are talking about “generations” to represent our elders or musically speaking, the different decades represent different artists or music genres. “Generations” are even mentioned in the famous game Pokemon, all of these references are part of commun knowledge to us. It is also quite similar in the cinematic world. There are of course tens of generations of directors, and many different generations of actors and actresses, etc.. I did not want to do an extremely ambitious expose recounting all emblematic people from each generation so I turned towards a wider definition of the word generations. The generation often being that of our elders. I wanted to take a look at how these people are portrayed by the camera who played and still play big roles in society.
I wanted to present a film that I hold in my heart, it’s a documentary called Plogoff, rocks against shotguns, which was released in 1980 and it focuses on a fight that led a small breton village to fight against the installation of a nuclear power plant. In this film we are interested in the problems that could transcend generations for young people to not so young. In this documentary we are lucky to have many witnesses and statements. It is not a cinematic subgenre, La déchirure ( 1984) is here to remind us how thin the border between film and documentary is. Plogoff benefited from a new outburst of support due to it’s restoration by the region of Bretagne, Bretagne’s Cinematheque, and the national cinema center. This documentary was then redistributed in cinemas in 2019 and 2020.
The year is 1980, Plogoff is a play about the mobilisation against the construction of a nuclear power plant and Felix and Nicole Le Garrec decide to join the movement. To bring light to the situation they decide to make a film, a film about the people of plogoff, a film where the (subventions) are assured by the Le Garrec family. For two months they filmed the confrontations between the police and the protestor , the speeches and interviewed many of the locals. Plogoff brings us the feelings and words of the generations in this village. While watching this film we understand the interest of
these kind of pieces, we rediscover different ways of living, differents ways of thinking and we understand the different endgames and evolutions. Filming the actor and actresses, is telling a story but filming men and women is showing their story. The generation found its place within this documentary, and in the end it was one of the only films to show in cinemas the generations opinions on the nuclear.
In a completely different register I recommend a sad but very interesting short film by Anthony Chen : Ah Ma (2007). The generational aspect is definitely found since the film is centered around one of the character’s deaths. Anthony Chen’s talents lead us through fifteen minutes of painful passage between generations. This Singaporian director was awarded at Cannes for this short film.