Retour à Reims (Fragments) Film screening and discussion
Based on the memoir by Didier Eribon, Jean-Gabriel Périot’s documentary Returning to Reims (Fragments) tells an intimate, political story of the French working class from the beginning of the 1950s to today.
Didier Eribon’s memoir, Returning to Reims, is an account of one man’s return to the town where he grew up after an absence of 30 years. A frank, personal story of family, memory, identity and time lost, it is also a view of what it means to grow up working class and then leave that class; of inequality and shifting political allegiances in an increasingly divided nation.
Bringing together film fragments, news footage, scenes from documentaries with Eribon’s words, the documentary Returning to Reims (Fragments) illustrates and explains the development of the French working class over the past 70 years; looks at injustices passed on through generations; reflects on what it means to leave the working class and lead an intellectual life; and covers a mother’s life, marriage, and the opportunities she and other women never had. The film also helps explain the shifting currents in the political life of France over recent decades.
Following the film, Didier Eribon will be in discussion with Andrew Kelly from Bristol Ideas.
Director: Jean-Gabriel Périot
Narrated by: Adèle Haenel
Cert TBC / France / 83 mins / in French with English subtitles
Didier Eribon’s Returning to Reims is published by Penguin. Buy a copy online or at the event.
The event is also part of Bristol’s Future City Film Festival. The festival normally takes place every two years in the autumn but had to be postponed last year due to the pandemic. It will now run through 2022 as a series of special events. We are grateful to the British Film Institute for their support for the festival.
Didier Eribon is Professor of Sociology at the University of Amiens. His previous books include the biography Michael Foucault, Insult and the Making of the Gay Self and numerous other books of critical theory. Returning to Reims, his acclaimed memoir of going back to his roots, is a bestseller in Europe. It has been translated by Michael Lucey.
Image credit: Patrice Normand
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