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René Viénet was born in Le Havre in 1944 and both his grandfather and his father were dockers. Member of the “Situationist International” from 1963-1971, he is an author, publisher, and filmmaker but also, predominantly, for almost half a century now, a historian focusing on China, embarking on the colossal task to uncover the true nature of Maoism and the massacres covered by such terms as “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution”.

Lacking funds he invents the total hijacking, fast and brutal, of an existing film, before launching, once he had the means, a methodology, both innovative and polemical, which is a landmark in the history of documentary, in as much as it unveiled the ways and procedures of falsification. In his collection “Bibliotheque asiatique”, he notably published Simon Leys and for the first time the writings of Chinese dissidents, and thus contributed to the tearing of the opaque veil of Maoist propaganda in the West.

This constant struggle against dictatorship and lies has led Viénet to defend the oeuvre of Hu Jie, a fearless Chinese engraver and documentarist, who has  worked, totally
independent for the last 25 years, to retrace the crimes committed under Mao’s regime. Although  these crimes have been denounced, their documentation, even today, remains  undesirable. It is due to 11th AΑGFF Festival, that we can follow the path traced by these two exemplary auteurs, listen to their conversations, and thus realize how much a simple citizen can accomplish, even alone and deprived of resources, in his confrontation against an empire, with the sheer force of words, images and sounds.

Curation: Nicole Brenez, René Viénet
Programming: Jacob Skenderidis
Introduction: Nicole Brenez (curator of the Cinémathèque française, Professor at the University of Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle & at La Fémis), (translation into English by Maria Komninos)

Watch the interview of René Viénet for the 11th AAGFF here:

Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
(La Dialectique Peut-Elle Casser Des Briques? )


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Peking Duck Soup
Peking Duck Soup
(Chinois, encore un effort pour être révolutionnaires)


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Mao By Mao
Mao By Mao
(Mao Par Lui-Même)


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Can Dialectics Break Bricks? (animated pencil rendition)
Can Dialectics Break Bricks? (animated pencil rendition)
(La Dialectique Peut-Elle Casser Des Briques? (version crayonnée animée))


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Red China In Black And White
Red China In Black And White
(La Chine Rouge En Noir Et Blanc)


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Searching For Lin Zhao's Lost Soul
Searching For Lin Zhao's Lost Soul
(尋找林昭的靈魂 (XunZhao Lin Zhao de LingHun) )


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Though I Am Gone
Though I Am Gone
(我虽死去 (Wo Sui Si Qu))


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Propaganda Images Of The Cultural Revolution
Propaganda Images Of The Cultural Revolution
(文革宣傳畫 (WenGe XuanChuan Hua))


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