Banned in France at the time of its release, the film was born of a historic trip to North Korea in 1958, one in which Chris Marker, Claude Lanzmann and Armand Gatti also participated. Apparently honoring a request by Mao Zedong, Gatti penned the script of this idyll inspired by a traditional Korean Opera—the pansori The Faithful Chunhyang—transposed in the context of the Korean War and clearly positioned against the destruction perpetrated by the forces of the United States and the UN. Difficult shooting conditions contributed to the invention of an original and quite modern cinematographic language, accentuated by documentary elements and significant ellipses.
The Marines (Les Marines)Directed by François Reichenbach.
France, 1957, DCP, black & white, 22 min.
French with English subtitles.
DCP source: Films de Jeudi
Filmed in the US Marines training barracks on Parris Island, with the authorization of the military authorities, this documentary accompanies the first weeks of young recruits by refusing to adopt a simplistic position for or against. The framing, the editing, the commentary and, especially, the use of music contribute to an elucidating, interrogative attention to the journey of the elite soldiers.