Programmed by Naomie Décarie-Daigneault
By going back into the cinema of the 1968 era and going forward with present-day interviews of young people who replay excerpts of films jumping out from the past, Our Defeats draw the portrait of our current relations with politics. Our Defeats, or do we keep enough forces to confront ourselves with the chaos of today?
A word from Tënk
I often wonder what happened to our rage.
Activist films from the 1960s and 70s portray workers leading uprisings, students mid-insurrection, members of the bourgeoisie who want to throw it all away, the boss’s son who wants to overthrow capitalism…People start to speak and it’s startling. They talk about power dynamics, social conditions, class, liberation, desires. They quote philosophers and poets, reflect on the world and its violence; they aren’t afraid to name class enemies and apply radical critiques. Political critiques aren’t tied up in personal critiques, and the personal is understood in its political dimensions. Structures of oppression are laid bare, interests are unveiled, and the working class has the gall to name them.
Where do we stand today? What do our youth dream of, trapped in insatiable individual desires, perpetually redirected to a present stripped of its past, an infinitely refreshed browser window? Our Defeats, from filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot, takes the temperature of a strange, depoliticized, neutralized world that is divested of all critical stances. But the portrait that he proposes is, happily, more complicated than it is demoralizing, and its last section brings us to a necessary realization. We can only organize tomorrow’s rage in today’s world, and while the words have changed, the sentiment remains the same.
Tënk’s Artistic Director