TIFF 2022: Our Review of ‘Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudovic Reels’

Posted in TIFF 2022 by - September 16, 2022
TIFF 2022: Our Review of ‘Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudovic Reels’

I liked Mila Turajlic’s Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudovic Reels, and it has a lot of information. But one of the pieces of information that I had to thin twice about was the fact that newsreels had scripts. The documentary’s main subject, Stevan Labudovic was a director of those reels, and his work captures the highlights of mid 20th century Europe. The first and the one it pays less attention to is the former Yugoslavia’s resistance against Germany and the rise of Tito. The second and more important for the film’s purposes is the War of Algerian Independence. ‘News’ and ‘script’ at the same sentence raised red flags, but those scripts make the news digestible. Beside, both the French and the Algerian sides did it.

Seeing these reels, despite knowing that they have scripts, illuminates a lot of things about that second war. The first is that the war had many fronts. The Battle of Algiers is a masterpiece but it also made it seem like the war was an urban one. Turajlic uncovers Labudovic’s footage showing the rural front where the Algerian army trained. It’s also nice to see a European country fight for the independence of an African one, and Turajlic deftly relates that emancipation with that of her people as well as a few current independent movements today. She was also lucky to be able to interview Labudovic before his passing. And those interviews, showing the personality of a man with dimensions, make for great cinema.

 

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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