Film Screening: Rebellion


The Freedom Shop presents: Rebellion. Written and directed by Mathieu Kassowitz, Rebllion is a dramatisation of the events on the New Caledonian island of Ouvea in 1988 when pro-independence Kanak activists took a group of French gendarmes hostage.

This was a crucial event in the long Kanak struggle for independence from France. Rebellions in 1871 and 1917 were followed by increasing activism ofr independence from the late 1960s. In 1981 the USTKE was formed followed by, in 1984, the FLNKS. During the late '80s pro and anti-independence activity led to protests and armed clashes. Much grassroots organising took place amongst the indigenous Kanaks including the establishment of the Ecole Populaire Kanak.

The lack of reaction by the FLNKS leadership to the Ouvea hostage situation created a perception of the distancing of the 'grande tetes' from the grassroots, a feeling increased by the agreement of the leadership to the Matignon Agreement, which put off any decision on independence for ten years.

“It’s April 1988 on the Ouvéa Island in the French colony of New Caledonia. 30 police are kidnapped by Kanak separatists and in response 300 special-forces operatives are sent in to restore order. To avoid unnecessary conflict, Philippe Legorjus (Mathieu Kassovitz), the captain of an elite counter-terrorism police unit, is sent in to the heart of the rebel base to negotiate a peaceful solution. But against the highly pressured backdrop of presidential elections in France, the stakes are high and all bets are off. Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine) makes a powerful comeback in front of and behind the camera with this violent thriller, based on true events.” Craig Grobler, The EstablishingShot.

Friday, 16 August 2013, 6:30pm at the People’s Cinema, 57 Manners St.


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