Jean-Gabriel Périot Introduces His Film "Our Defeats"

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"I realized after the shooting, and some discussions with them, that it was the first time they had discussed politics."

By Jean-Gabriel Périot

Jean-Gabriel Périot's Our Defeats is exclusively showing on MUBI starting September 15, 2021 in many countries in the series Undiscovered.

I just watched Our Defeats—the first time in a while….

This film was really an unexpected one. The director of Le Luxy, an art-house cinema in Ivry-sur-Seine, a city closed-by Paris, asked me to participate in a project with high-school students. I had to spend time with them, to work with them and make a “film,” whatever this “film” could be. Usually, workshops with students end up as a collective film or as a series of individual films. There, it was different. The process was supposed to lead to a film that would implicate the students but that would be signed by me as filmmaker. The main idea was to share with those students my own way to make films. Before I started this project, it was obvious that making a feature-length film would be impossible. There was a very low budget. The organization within the high school, and so within the workshop, was only almost improvised and constrained. Ans most importantly, the group of students was totally heterogeneous; a large part of them didn’t even choose to participate in such a project, they had to… My only hope was to make some kind of short documentary that could be shared with the students and their parents, and perhaps more widely if some kind of miracle occurs! 

What is certain is that I never planned to make what would become Our Defeats.

When I watched it today, I was brought back into the past, when we were shooting the film. 

What happened back then really surprised and questioned me and transformed a light short project into a feature-length one.

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