Contrary to what the general public often remembers, the end of the Second World War did not sound the hour for the return of French soldiers to the barracks while awaiting the next explosion. The famous 1944 speech that General de Gaulle delivered at the Brazzaville Conference already meant that the man of June 18, 1940 understood that the hardest part was yet to come, namely to keep control of the colonial Empire. It is the way in which France went about it which constitutes the framework of the documentary in two parts * by Pascal Blanchard and David Korn-Brzoza, common thread and object of the debate which will punctuate the special evening animated by Julian Bugier and devoted during a whole period which lasted 25 years and during which France was continually at war in the face of the desire for emancipation and independence of the colonies scattered as much in Africa as in Asia.
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A little known story …
It is this story that the documentary Decolonizations, blood and tears tale up to men, women and families impacted by the events of this period in one way or another. The story delivered is not delivered by specialists and this gives the documentary another flavor. And we realize that these three decades have, much more than we imagine, determined France’s relations with its former colonies, which in the meantime have officially become independent. From archival images largely unpublished and colored, all the realities of France are delivered to us.
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… which resonates even in today’s France
Through the testimonies and questions of contemporaries of this period, but also of their descendants, the thread of individual stories joins the great history. This leads us to see how much this period impacted France, politically, economically, socially and, in certain respects, culturally. The interest of this documentary is that it sheds new light on gray areas on which some of the younger generations are wondering, on France and its relations with the countries of origin of their parents or adults. -parents.
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The result of long-term work
As support for this documentary, there was a book, French decolonizations. The fall of an Empire. Published by Éditions de la Martinière, it paved the way for an educational exhibition entitled “Independence: 35 years of French decolonization”. As part of a program by the Achacqui research group, they will be putting their bags down at the Rendez-vous d’histoire de Blois on October 9, 10 and 11. An exhibition is organized at the Abbé-Grégoire library as well as a major conference with Pascal Blanchard, Nicolas Bancel and Sandrine Lemaire, the authors of the book French decolonizations. The fall of an Empire, but also the authors of the preface and the afterword of the book, Benjamin Stora and Achille Mbembe, who will be joined by Lilian Thuram, one of the great witnesses of the two parts of Decolonizations, blood and tears, in replay for two months on the France 2 site.
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* Broadcast at 9:05 p.m. on France 2