ON STRIKE! -- the new release from Icarus Films composed of two short films (and one audio critique) about the class struggle and consciousness-raising in 1960s France -- we can see how little has changed since then, other than film stock and fashion. Today, we might get sharper images via video but we're not likely to get a more incisive look into working conditions and the tools and tricks management uses to keep its workers in place.
BE SEEING YOU (À bientôt, j'espère) comprises 39 minutes by filmmakers Mario Marret and the fabled Chris Marker that lets us view a few workers and a union organizer as a strike fires up, and we see how young French workers of the day get their political and economic education. "I used to see Communists only as those who didn't attend Mass," notes one fellow. Which, at least, is better than the way we here in the USA have historically seen them.
CLASS OF STRUGGLE (Classe de lutte) is said to be the outcome of the above discussion group which led to the formation of The Medvedkin Group and to this, one of their films. (Among the 40-50 names of the members that roll out during the credits are Juliet Berto, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Joris Ivens.) This film follows the same young woman whom we met in the earlier film (Suzanne Zedet), who now insists on being more politically active. Her husband is clearly not thrilled.
The DVD of On Strike! -- from Icarus Films Home Video and running a total of 76 minutes, in black-and-white and with English subtitles and a screen ratio of 4:3 -- became available in early October for sale. And, I would hope, rental or streaming. There should be some way in which we poor hoi polloi can see the wonderful Icarus catalog without having to purchase it outright.
Regarding the latter, Icarus tells me that Class of Struggle is on iTunes now, and will be Amazon VOD soon (the exact date is still in question). The other film in this collection isn’t streaming anywhere yet. More broadly, Icrarus assures me that it does try to put its films on Amazon VOD, iTunes & google play on the same date as the DVD release, technical issues permitting, though there are sometimes exceptions to that rule.
Thanks, Icarus -- that's a boon to us foreign film/political movie/anti-Capitalist viewers!