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A very true story

A very true story

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A French legal peculiarity associates public architectural creation with works of art, allocating to it a fraction of the construction budget – the so-called “artistic 1%”. Upon being invited to the Dora Maar school in Saint-Ouen, Éric Baudelaire twists the convention of a physical work – a few months for a permanent intervention – and suggests shooting a film there over a four-year period. It is not a work for the students, but by the students. It won’t be a signed object, but a shared construction site. The result, edited by Claire Atherton, does of course gather the natural result of its long production time: four years of a national chronicle, written within the confines of an increasingly marginalized suburb, with sharp discussions about truth and evil, terrorists, colonization, origins and nationality. Said discussion, however, has no purpose other than to be part of an additional deprivation of the power of the author. Little by little, Claire Mathon’s images make way for those shot by the students. Taking its cue from Baudelaire (Letters to Max, 2014), the epistolary principle goes hand in hand with the idea that knowledge is acquired not through imposition, but in a confluence of ignorance. As such, the question of knowing what this film will be – documentary, drama? – seeks no definitive answer, but rather the indeterminacy and movement that are an essential part of all true thoughts.

Antoine Thirion

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