16.01.24, 20:30, L’Arbre, le Maire et la Médiathèque (1993)

In Éric Rohmer's L'Arbre, le Maire et la Médiathèque, the young socialist mayor of a picturesque French village pleads for the construction of a cultural and sports complex. In classic Rohmerian style, life goes on its way while the wheels of bureaucracy turn steadily. The beautiful French countryside underscores the idyllic promise of what is to come. However, when the mayor's good intentions clash with the villagers' priorities, questions of power and representation arise. In the process, the community doubts which spaces and services are really needed.

This late Rohmer takes a close look at the ebb and flow of preservation and progress. Rohmer also succeeds in teasing out the complexities of community, local power structures, cultural heritage and futurity. All this while delicately alternating between the personal and the political. Apart from this nuanced look at the tug-of-war within village politics, however, L'Arbe is first and foremost a light-hearted exploration of what binds a community together.

Éric Rohmer, 1993, France, 105’
French spoken, English subtitles
i.s.m. Filmlabo
Campus Bijloke
Godshuizenlaan 4
9000 Gent