International Competition

Buenaventura Durruti, Anarchist

Buenaventura Durruti, anarquista
- SPAIN, FRANCE / 1999 / Spanish, Catalan, French / Color / Video / 107 min

Director: Jean-Louis Comolli
Script: Jean-Louis Comolli, Ginette Lavigne
Photography: Jacques Pamart
Editing: Anita Perez
Sound: Francisco Camino
Music: Michel Portal
Producers: Gérald Collas, Paco Poch
Production Company, World Sales: Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA)
4 Avenue de l’Europe, 94366 Bry-sur-Marne FRANCE
Phone: 33-1-49-83-29-92 Fax: 33-1-49-83-31-82 E-mail: mgautard@ina.fr

Revolutionary Buenaventura Durruti: born in 1896, commander of an anarchist brigade during the Spanish revolution, killed in 1936. His life story is reenacted through the songs of street musicians and the performances of stage actors, spliced with real-time images. In an ordinary-looking room free of dramatic contrivances, a brand of theater that is neither rehearsal nor live performance begins to unfold. The drama takes shape inside the film, and soon begins to take on a life of its own.

[Director’s Statement] Once upon a time... somewhere in Catalunya... not so long ago.... Thus begins this story, like a gestual song, the romancero of Durutti evoked, sketched out, performed, carried out, by each in his or her own way, by a street singer and a group of theater actors.

Durruti. A Spanish anarchist. 1896-1936. An unimaginable life. A life of the past. We have taken as our point of departure the difficulty that exists in imagining the power of the anarchist movement in Spain before the war, the fury and the fever of those who were their preferred “heroes,” the inseparable three of the group called “Nosotros”: Durruti, Ascaso, Garcia Oliver.

All the distance that may exist between that time and us, between these men and us, and between their actions and us, is made to be inscribed, performed, questioned—and to have the power to move us. It is about understanding, about sharing meaning and emotion. That is where the romancero sung as well as incarnated by Chicho Ferlosio intervenes: we wanted to echo these “sons of the people” through these songs, to love them close to their fury and their heart.


- Jean-Louis Comolli

Film critic and filmmaker. Joined Cahiers du cinéma in 1962 and served as its editor-in-chief from 1966 to 1971. Directed his first documentary film, Les deux Marseillaises, in 1968, and his first narrative feature, La Cecilia, in 1976. Has devoted himself to documentary since the 1980s; his filmography includes Toto, Une anthologie (1979), La France à la carte (1986), Marseille de père en fils (1989), Birth of a Hospital (1991), and Musique de films: Georges Delrue (1994). Also an active teacher of cinema, cochairs the department of film direction at the French national film school FEMIS and teaches at the University of Paris 8 and in Barcelona. Served as a jury member for the International Competition at YIDFF ’99.

• International Competition | Angelos’ Film | A2 | Buenaventura Durruti, Anarchist | Crazy | Days in Those Mountains | La Devinière | Gaea Girls | Grandma’s Hairpin | In Vanda’s Room | The Land of the Wandering Souls | Mysterious Object at Noon | Paragraph 175 | Private Chronicles. Monologue | 6 Easy Pieces | Southern Comfort • Jurors | Hartmut Bitomsky | Bernard Eisenschitz | Ann Hui | Kuroki Kazuo | Ivars Seleckis