Raymond Depardon with a Retrospective
FICCI 55 Pays Tribute to Guest of Honor Raymond Depardon with a Retrospective
This year the Cartagena International Film Festival (FICCI) will be screening nine documentaries by French filmmaker and photographer Raymond Depardon as part of a retrospective in his honor. Depardon, who is deemed a maestro in both fields, will also be giving a Masterclass on Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 pm at Salon FICCI.
In his documentaries, Raymond Depardon analyzes, with independence, curiosity and compassion, the workings of society and its individual building blocks. He belongs to a group of photographers who brought a visual element to journalism in the mid-nineteenth century, changing forever our way of seeing the world; an erstwhile alien world, other ways of living that needed to be discovered on their own terms and conditions. A seasoned traveler, from early on in his career Depardon started combining his love of film with photography, developing his own unique and inimitable style in each medium. His first short films, made at the same time as he published his photo stories, already point to tension between fixed and moving pictures. Depardon knows full well that film in general, but especially the documentary, demands taking an ethical stance, because the camera can never be an impartial witness. By the same token, the people being filmed inevitably put on a performance for the camera. It is partly this awareness of the shortcomings of the medium that makes his films so interesting.
FICCI 55 will be screening nine documentaries by Depardon on topics he returns to over and over again, yet approaches each time from innovate new angles, uninfluenced by dogma and tradition. Topics like the framework of institutions society has placed its trust in, such as psychiatric facilities (San Clemente), the police force (Delits Flagrants), the justice system (10e Chambre, Instants D'audience) and specific professions like police officers (Faits Divers) and photographers (Reporters).
Completing our selection is 1974, une partie de campagne, a film about Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's campaign during France's presidential elections of 1974 that was banned for decades; Contre l'oubli, a collective film that calls for the remembrance of Alirio de Jesús Pedraza, a Colombian attorney and human rights advocate who was disappeared and that features a fragment directed by Depardon in Colombia, in Cartagena to be precise, Afriques, comment ca va avec la douleur, a highly personal chronicle of his trip to Africa, and Journal de France, a synthesis of sorts of his personal and professional life, co-directed with his sound technician, producer and partner, Claudine Nougaret, who will be accompanying Depardon to Cartagena.
In addition to the retrospective, FICCI 55 will be organizing a discussion panel moderated by the film director and critic Sergio Wolf, who is on the jury of the Official Documentary Competition.