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Far from Vietnam

Joris Ivens, William Klein, Agnes Varda, Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais
Loin du Vietnam
France 1967 / 115’
Entranced Earth Fighting Through the Night

A film legend: the cinematic equivalent of a street demonstration, an impressive gesture of solidarity with the victims of war; an exceptional example of collective-both political and artistic-intervention. Far from Vietnam (created and edited by Chris Marker) was born, as William Klein said, from a question: How to make a "useful" film? Fiction, agit-prop, documentary, what? We were never able to decide, but we had to do something.Out of the need to react to the war in Vietnam, an omnibus was thus created in 1967 that combined not only great directors (Godard, Ivens, and Varda, to name a few), but also different styles: from features through documentaries to reportage. And although that conflict is now firmly in the past, the film's angry energy is still fresh, and its message remains applicable today. Because Vietnam is in each of us, as Godard said. In its time, Far from Vietnam gave rise to violent protests: in America, its creators were accused of sowing communist propaganda, and in Paris right-wing extremists cut up cinema seats.

Małgorzata Sadowska

SLON (La Societé de Lancement des Oeuvres Nouvelles)

SLON was a film collective created by Chris Marker for the purpose of making Far from Vietnam. Its members included Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, Alain Resnais, Claude Lelouch, William Klein, and Agnes Varda. Marker not only persuaded the directors to take part, but he also oversaw the artistic coherence of the project by producing and editing the film. Following the events in Paris in May 1968, SLON was revived and, with a whole new team, continued the tradition of creative collectives, this time bringing together filmmakers and workers. Inspired by the achievements of Soviet cinema (particularly Aleksandr Medvedkin), the idea of authorship was abandoned, and the collective made several political documentaries about America, Cuba, and the Soviet Union (LaSixième FaceduPentagone1968, La Bataille des dix milions, 1970, Le Train en Marche, 1971).

Selected filmography

1968 LaSixième Facedun Pentagone

1970 La Bataille des dix milions 

1971 Le Train en Marche

Cast & Crew

director Joris Ivens, William Klein, Agnes Varda, Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais
screenplay Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Jacques Sternberg
cinematography Jean Boffety, Denys Clerval, Ghislain Cloquet, Willy Kurant, Alain Levent, Kieu Tham, Bernard Zitzermann
editing Jacques Meppiel
sound Antoine Bonfanti
cast Anne Bellec, Karen Blanguernon, Bernard Fresson, Maurice Garrel, Jean-Luc Godard
producer Chris Marker
production Societe pour le Lancement des Oeuvres Nouvelles
sales Instytut Francuski
language French
colouration colour