Pierre Schoendoerffer, Men and Sorrow

Pierre Schoendoerffer, La Peine des hommes

Laurent Roth
France | 2018 | 58 min
World premiere
Language : French
Subtitle : English

In Les Yeux brûlés, shot in 1986, Laurent Roth revealed the human adventure of six former war reporters conversing with the actress Mireille Perrier. She was at Roissy Aiport to “retrieve” the military canteen of Jean Péraud, a photographer killed in the quagmire of Indochina and brother-in-arms of Pierre Schoendoerffer, who filmed this place where “the women gave names to the hills on which the soldiers spilled their blood.” The agony of Diên Biên Phu, continues Roth in Pierre Schoendoerffer, Men and Sorrow, “was a long string of female names.” We do not know if the filmmaker interviewed by Perrier had that in mind, unconsciously, when speaking to her with distance, indeed with barely veiled hostility. In what he calls a “document”, Roth restages the entirety of the sound rushes recorded with the director of La 317e Section both with images worked in slow motion—when they were missing—and synchronous images. And the resulting film derives from a stasis—in the physiological sense—that comes to question both the virile art of war and its incommunicable dark side.

Emmanuel Chicon