Paris May 68

Editorial in the Cahiers du Cinéma

Source: Cahiers du Cinéma, June-July 1968;
Translated: for by Mitchell Abidor 2008.

On May 17, the Estates General of cinema were opened at the School of Photography and Cinema on the rue Vaugirard. About 1500 professionals and para-professionals met there (many for the first time) and returned almost every night for a month. This is a first, and not negligible, revolution in the mores of cinema in France. For our part, for quite some time (and recently too, in issue 200) we have called on cineastes to ally their efforts and reflections, to criticize and act in order to take the future of the cinema in hand. Responding to this concern, the Estates general have already proved (but here too the combat continues) that in all professional categories – and also among the great number to whom the “profession” remained closed – there reigned but one will: to transform the “system,” the conditions in which the cinema has enclosed itself until reaching a point where it is cut off from all political and social reality. The Estates General not only attacked the problems of the cinema , but by the strike of technicians and production workers, by the participation in marches and demonstrations, they showed that their action had the same meaning as that of the students and workers, that they were in solidarity with them.

At a moment when, in the cinema and elsewhere, we see the beginnings of a reaction by the masters of the comfort market (it is said that a Committee of Civic Action in the Cinema has been established) the need for the Estates General is reinforced, in the sense of a challenge to all abuses, privileges, routines. We will give an account of this in our next issue.