Using archival material and documentary inquiry as her starting point, Émilie Rousset’s performative research projects explore theatrical potential in the gap between original documentation and its representation. She has collaborated with filmmaker Louise Hémon on the “Rituels” series, an evolving collection of films and performances which probe the rites of society by drawing upon the respective codes of theater and documentary cinema. Le Grand Débat recreates a televised debate using a collage of archives from presidential debates taking place between 1974 and 2017 through three short films and a recorded performance with humor an essential component.
Recorded live at the Festival d’Automne, the mechanism of the TV studio set and the codes of the live broadcast are brought to the stage in Le Grand Débat. Sitting opposite each other at a table, two actors, Emmanuelle Lafon and Laurent Poitrenaux, reenact these fragments before the audience and the cameras. This final debate, a mixture of rhetoric and adrenaline, has a filmic language all of its own, in addition to its own editing principles, decor and media-based history. With its extremely codified rules, this event is a true ritual of modern times. But is it a ritual for democracy or for television? The dividing line is a very fine one indeed.
The recorded event is presented in French. The virtual event is free and open to the public.
WATCH THE EVENT
The video recording was posted on this page from September 15-19.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
On September 18 at 4:45 p.m. (EDT), watch a recorded conversation in French with Rousset and Hémon following the online presentation of Le Grand Débat.
If you are in need of access accommodations in order to participate in this event, please contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email LewisCenter@princeton.edu at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.