Sign in or register
for additional privileges

“We Are All Children of Algeria”

Visuality and Countervisuality 1954-2011

Nicholas Mirzoeff, Author
Frantz Fanon, page 3 of 4

Other paths that intersect here:

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.

J’ai huit ans


A film created  in 1961 by the Maurice Audin Committee, including the filmmakers Olga Poliakoff and Jann Le Mason, co-ordinated by French radical film director René Vautier. The pseudonym in the title commemorated a young French mathematician, Maurice Audin, who had been tortured to death by the French occupation forces. The film was later credited by the new Algerian government as being "prepared by Frantz Fanon and R. Vautier."

Vautier was a French radical, sometime member of the Communist Party, and a documentary filmmaker. His engagement led him to Algeria, where he made the first "guerilla documentary," covering the FLN's combat against French colonialism, entitled Algérie en flammes (Algeria in Flames). He had an encounter with Fanon, who was very suspicious of him both because he was French and because he was a Communist. For a time, Vautier was in fact imprisoned as a spy, but on his release, presumably now persona grata, he began work on this film with Fanon and others.

After the war, Vautier stayed in Algeria to promote his radical film practice, creating what he called "ciné-pops," a popular cinema. He trained young Algerians to use cameras, and they made short films. These were then projected outside, with the film maker giving a live voice-over commentary. Vautier also arranged for screenings of classics like Battleship Potemkin in the Casbah. With the consolidation of Army control in 1967, Vautier's experiment came to an end, but he continued to recall his engagement in Algeria for audiences across the world. He died in 2010.

For an analysis of the film, move to the next page in this path.
Comment on this page

Discussion of "J’ai huit ans"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Frantz Fanon, page 3 of 4 Next page on path