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PFF resources | Index of films screened by the PFF
L'OLIVIER (THE OLIVE FARMER)


Directed by | Groupe Cinéma Vincennes

Genre fiction  |  Length: 83mins  |  Year of production: 1976


The Groupe Cinéma Vincennes was a Parisian Maoist collective formed after 1968 and comprised of Ali Akika, Guy Chapoullie, Serge Le Péron, Jean Narboni, Dominique Villain, and Danièle Dubroux. Their L’Olivier, emerged in response to a feeling French public support for the Palestinian struggle was diminishing following the 1972 Munich atrocity. As a form of “activist” cinema, the 16mm doc they went on to make is a quite peerless work. Cannily structured to convey the Palestinian story and to highlight the (then) present state of the struggle, the film is at the same time a rousing call for global revolutionary solidarities and, particularly, for European political engagements. Revisited today, L’Olivier is striking for the formal cinematic qualities it fuses with its political messaging. It is also notable for the many grim continuities it reveals between 1975 and today: home demolitions, imprisonment without trial, settlement construction, resource theft, and diplomatic acquiescence...

L’Olivier was recently “rediscovered” by Subversive Film, a research and production body specialising in militant cinemas from the 1960s to the 1980s. The first UK presentation, at the 2012 London Palestine Film Festival involves newly prepared English subtitles being displayed below the existing French.