Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the ... See full summary »
The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »
The Seventies Folk is a 1975 television docu-drama written and directed by Peter Watkins that was produced by Dansmark Radio. The tele-film explores the high suicide rate in Denmark, the ... See full summary »
Erik L. Christensen
"Out 1" is a very precise picture of post May '68 malaise - when Utopian dreams of a new society had crashed and burned, radical terrorism was starting to emerge in unlikely places and a ... See full summary »
During the rehearsals for the production of the tragedy Andromaque, the leading actress and her director, a couple behind the scenes, can't find a way to leave their personal problems at ... See full summary »
André S. Labarthe
Documentary reconstructions: a broadcast from 1871
Peter Watkins stands at the base of a form of historical documentaries known as 'documentary reconstruction'. Lightly based on battle re-enactments, Watkins hires amateur actors to play the roles of common people in the Paris of 1871. Famine and civil unrest cause a popular revolution, supported by followers of Karl Marx. The people take power and form a Commune, a communist government. After a few weeks, the official Versailles government regains the city by force, and tens of thousands of people are executed.
Watkins' historical drama is based on the common people, which are shown in their everyday life. To do this, he introduced an anachronism: in the 1871 context, the people form a tv station. The Versaillais also have their official tv station. This way, the documentary becomes both a social project and a media experiment.
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