Statues Also Die (Les statues meurent aussi)
(Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, 1953, 30 min)
A collaboration between Chris Marker (1921-2012) and Alain Resnais (1922-2014) made in 1953.
After its first screening at Cannes in 1954, where it won the Prix Jean Vigo, Les statues meurent aussi was banned until 1963 owing to its controversial anti-colonialist stance, and went unseen in its unabridged form until 1968. “It is the notion of négritude that the film engages with most deeply, and perhaps most controversially, especially as it strives to connect the death of the statue with the rise in the commercialisation of African art for the pleasure of the colonial classes. Indeed, it is against the backdrop of a France that had so recently lost its colonial power, but which still retained many of the quasi-Manichean distinctions between white, Western culture and black, African culture, that (and in spite of their claims to the contrary) Resnais and Marker’s film projected its passionately anti-colonial, anti-racist, even anti-capitalist audio-visual collage. It is little wonder then that such a film should have been censored until the late 1960s, by which time it might have lost some of its topicality, but none of its political vigour.” -Jenny Chamarette, Senses of Cinema, Issue 52, September 2009