A people: a relevant look at the Yellow Vests [critique]

Emmanuel Gras was on the roundabouts and in the demonstrations of the Yellow Vests. He draws from it a powerful film on a revolt too caricatured by the media.

The people who give their title to this documentary are the Yellow Vests from a country that kept itself wise. The media, as we know, were quick to caricature them to keep them at a distance from the other people, as “big” as the other was supposed to be “small”. Just before a pandemic that would reshape everything, the virus of revolt must not mutate. What good is a filmmaker if he doesn’t go and see what is happening on the spot? In some countries, some artists pay dearly for this kind of travel (Mohammad Rasoulof or Jafar Panahi in Iran) In France, François Ruffin, in a gesture that extended his thoughts, made the trip with a weapon (a camera) and luggage (his rebellious face) from the end of 2018 to meet Yellow Vests all over France with I want sun. The most discreet, Emmanuel Gras (cattle) was also on the roundabouts and in the middle of the “grapeshot” place de l’Etoile and the surrounding area. He saw and heard rebellious men and women, who put into play – and in parentheses – an already difficult life, to protest together against this uninhibited ultra-liberalism which conditions our existence. His film puts into perspective the beauty of a fight and its unfortunate excesses which are not intended to cover everything. At a good distance and yet with his nose in his subject, Gras reminds us that if the fight has deserted the small screen, the function of the big one is to show its relevance and its courage. a people makes you want to (re-)read the wonderful little yellow book by Barbara Stiegler, From Cape Town to Strikes.

By Emmanuel Gras. Duration: 1h45. Released February 23, 2022

Leave a Reply