War is intrinsically associated with the search for a way to destroy an enemy. Throughout the ages, the evolution of weaponry has followed this destructive quest. Scientists now work hand in glove with military strategists. The atomic bomb is the culmination of the history of weaponry, and signals the beginning of an era in which the brandishing of this ultimate weapon is hopefully sufficient to quell any desire for conflict. Post-Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Bomb has become as horrific as it is fascinating. Its being nuclear sublimates all weapons ever known before. It has become an entity in its own right, the subject of all our fantasies and coveted by numerous states as the ultimate protection from any threat. More than any other weapon, it represents the downward spiral of humanity playing with its collective future, as with the sorcerer’s apprentice who allows himself to be tricked because of his fascination for the evil but wonderful creature he himself has created.
Just when we thought any threat of its being used had gone, the spectre of mass horror returns.
The two films being shown have an unusual and particularly powerful way of presenting The Bomb as a cinematographic object.
Skilfully and impressively edited, often using previously unpublished archive images, The Bomb goes back over the past 70 years to show the escalation of an ever-increasing nuclear proliferation. Its three directors have made an extraordinary film whose main character – The Bomb – surprises us by its ability to seduce as much as to terrify.
In Collisions, the Australian filmmaker Lynette Wallworth gives the floor to Niarry, an Aboriginal patriarch living with his family, close to the earth that he sees himself looking after for future generations. Isolated from the world, he recalls his first encounter with the West, as a young man sixty years ago. This was the time of the atomic tests carried out by the British in the bush, without a thought for the people living there. Collisions takes us to the heart of this encounter in a breath-taking film of evocative beauty. The use of virtual reality makes the experience even more deeply intense.
These two original visions complement each other, in a deeply moving diptych.
- Philippe Bachman
SÉANCE DU SAMEDI 7 OCTOBRE SUIVI D’UNE TABLE RONDE
Smriti Keshari, co-réalisatrice du film The Bomb
Margaret Aery, productrice du film The Bomb
Lynette Wallworth, réaliatrice du film en réalité virtuel Collisions
Corentin Brustlein, Dissuasion and Proliferation Analyst at IFRI - Institut français des relations internationales (French Institute of International Relations)
Philippe Bachman, Délégué général du festival