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Communists like Us

The Otolith Group

UK, 2010
22 minutes, 55 seconds, B&W/colour, Stereo, 16:9
Original format: HD video
Available formats: BluRay / HD Digital file

This film explores a 16-minute scene from Jean Luc Godards 1967 film La Chinoise . In this scene, filmed as a continuous train journey, the activist turned philosopher Francis Jeanson argues with the fictional character of Veronique , a young Maoist student, played by Anne Wiasemsky . The dialogue from Godard’s scene is transcribed onto the archival photographs of the image track in Communists Like Us, creating a conversation between photography and cinema, as varied sources and engagements with Maoism are brought into dialogue with each other. The dialogue within this piece is further complicated by the integration of Cornelius Cardew’s Paragraph II of The Great Learning, performed by The Scratch Orchestra in 1970. There is not only a variety of approach implied through the use of and allusion to the Scratch Orchestra’s highly democratic compositions, but also in the archival footage, propaganda posters, and photographs in this work. The many sources combine to make a mutable whole in this meditation on Confucian ethics.