The French never had the opportunity for a national uprising “By night, like thieves”, as we Romanians had, so they started off their own movement: “By night, like citizens”. It emerged as a popular reaction to a deeply divisive labour bill pushed through by the Hollande government in May 2016. As protests broke out across France, people from all walks of life assembled in the Place de la République for a democratic exercise involving extensive debates that continued into the night. As they tried to imagine new forms of organization and action, the square became a space of exchange where everybody had the right to express their views. Mariana Otero has documented that process with respect and curiosity, allowing room for doubt, criticism, and expressions of disengagement. Where exactly does the democratic exercise turn into a utopia? And under what circumstances does freedom of expression melt into demagogy?
With support from the French Institute
awards and festivals
2017: Festival de Cannes, ACID
2017: Festival Résistances de Foix
2017: Festival du film français à Lisbonne