Thursday 11 December 2014 film showing
FILM SHOWING: ‘La Guerre est Finie’ (1966, Alain Resnais, Jorge Semprun), introduced by Dr Ursula Tidd, University of Manchester
40-44 Princess Street, M1 6DE Manchester, United Kingdom
For our first film showing since Brecht and Dudow’s ‘Kuhle Wampe’ (1932) last year, spring are happy to be showing ‘La Guerre est Finie’ (1966), the criminally overlooked work by esteemed director Alain Resnais and author Jorge Semprun.
Set in the sixties where western social democracy’s hey-day sat uncomfortably with the normalisation of Franco’s regime in Spain, the protagonist Diego (Yves Montand) is a Spanish communist militant engaged in underground work since the Civil War’s end. His exasperation with the ageing Communist officials and their seemingly directionless and boorish attitudes is matched with his cynicism and irritance at the enthusiastic and young leftist groups he falls into contact with who are plotting armed attacks inside of Spain.
‘La Guerre est Finie’ occupies a peculiar space in the history of the New Wave. Despite the New Wave’s association with leftist politics, ‘La Guerre est Finie’ in rare in showing various strands of both communist theory and practice in lights both sympathetic and critical. A taut and superbly paced work combining the aesthetic challenge of the nouvelle vogue with history and arguments that take the viewer seriously, we hope you will join us for this rare screening.
The life of Jorge Semprun, the screenwriter, suggests a more-than-partially autobiographical narrative. In his youth a Spanish émigré resistance fighter in Paris and an inmate of Buchenwald concentration camp, Semprun continued the struggle as an adult, performing clandestine work for the Spanish Communist Party. We will be joined by Ursula Tidd, senior lecturer in French at the University of Manchester and author of the recently published ‘Jorge Semprun: Writing the European Other’ (Oxford, Legenda Publications), who will introduce the film and provide an introduction to Semprun and his work.
£4/3 concessions, be there sharp to avoid disappointment!