In the theoretical-empirical mix on Peter Watkins’s La Commune (Paris, 1871) (2000) and Emanuel Barot’s Camera politica, I try to analyse the film’s key achievements and link them to the wider connotations (of spectacle society). I detect the possibility of meta-editing that the viewers can practice while watching the film, that is, the further innovative interlacing and developing of meanings that we face in the filmmaker’s collage. The performative dimension enables the film to step beyond bare representation, reveal film technology, unmask the context of the mise-en-scène, abolish the genre commitment and, finally, decanonise the production. The film consistently carries out an important conceptual twist: it affirms a “generic” commune, which is not at all the (same) commune that was taken as the starting point. The film thus opens gaps in the existing; through which emerge flashes of the allegedly impossible.
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