La vie est à nous
(La vie est à nous), (The People of France)
Jean Dasté, Jacques Brunius, Gaston Modot, Madeleine Sologne,
Thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
La vie est à nous is a lyrical film essay, a truly collective effort by some of the finest writers, directors, and cinematographers working in France in the thirties, yet one that bears the strong imprint of Jean Renoir, who supervised the project. It was the first militant left-wing film made in France, in support of the Communist Party, and was banned by the censor and thus only screened in local cinemas to “subscribers” to Ciné-liberté, the magazine of the left-wing group of cineastes. The film is an amalgam of sketches, documentary and pseudo-documentary sequences, among them a “portrait” of the two hundred families said to rule France; activities and observations of various working people and the Party’s connection to them; and the highlight in which the Fascist Colonel de la Rocque performs an idiotic little dance to the barking sounds of Adolph Hitler, thanks to ingenious editing.