Appendix 13: La Rebond for La Commune
In my work over the years, I have continually explored ways of using the audiovisual media in order to break through the customary one-way hierarchy of the mass media, and to show that 'communication' has meaning far beyond the fragmented and limited process coming at us on the TV screen and in the cinema. Within this context lies my hope that my work can somehow burst beyond the customary limits of the rectangular screen. I sometimes think that this hope is more wishful thinking on my part, than achieved reality... However, I do feel a sense of moving forward, in the knowledge that a group of the participants in LA COMMUNE stayed together as an activist group.
After the filming, a number of the cast continued to meet regularly over the following months, to socialize and exchange ideas. Cast actor, painter and pedagogue Jean Marc Gauthier initiated the formation of a non-hierarchical association called Le Rebond pour la Commune, in order to continue the work of the film - to expand on its ideas and its critical debate vis-à-vis society.
In March of 2000, Le Rebond organized a weekend of public talks in Montreuil, with ca. 300 people attending presentations and discussions on the role of women, the media, work, power, and other key themes. Woven through the events of the weekend were debates on the Paris Commune - a direct link from the present to the past. Le Rebond is undoubtedly the most important ongoing development in the process of any film I have made, and shows that it is entirely possible to create processes within the audiovisual media which can in fact move beyond the limitations of the rectangular frame.
Le Rebond have initiated both screenings of the film, and public debates on the issues that it raises; the focus thereby is not merely on showing the film, but on the process beyond the film.
In a founding collective statement, Le Rebond wrote the following regarding their aims and intentions:
"Seeing the difficulties which a film of such scope encounters: the insidious censoring by ARTE on TV and their refusal to distribute the film on video, the marginalizing of the work, the refusal of French film distributors to release the film, the silence in the media... This asks questions of our capacity to prolong and develop the process of resistance and participation. This is why our Association also sets itself the objective of developing communal experience by the creation of places and spaces where discussions which propose thought, reflection, and organization against the abuse of power by the dominant mass media can take place. To initiate, propose and organize collective projects and debates around the questions which « La Commune (Paris 1871) » raises for us. To create free speech, with or without the institutions ... A 'wide-angle' vision rather than 'tele-objective'." www.lerebond.org