The article discusses the different creative methods with which the documentary cinema of French director, philosopher, poet and activist Sylvain George approaches the delicate issue of migration policy in France and European Community. In his efforts to find a specific aesthetic expression for the cinema as an elementary form of resistance, the work of one of the key directors of contemporary politically committed cinema also refers to certain aspects of political thought of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rancière, Giorgio Agamben, and Georges Didi-Huberman. By focusing mainly on George’s last film Qu’ils reposent en révolte (des figures de guerre I), the article analyses emancipatory principles that arise visibly from a refusal to stand by, a will to resist, and, most of all, a drive to turn noise into voice, to make the invisible(s) visible. These demands, which correspond with some of the above mentioned thinkers’ crucial concepts – such as the “real state of exception”, “political subjectivation”, “bare life”, “sovereign violence” – find an original and relevant cinematic expression in George’s cinema, which sets off a profound movement of emancipation. Through George’s “cinema that asserts an unambiguous political position” in content as well as form, the immigrants are finally accorded an own voice to witness the hellish reality of the “promised land”.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!