Ordinary Question, The

Claude Miller chillingly exposes the absurdity of a derailed world in La Question Ordinaire: a world where the violence employed by the established state is gratuitous and pervasive to the point of eclipsing the function of government; A world where the hapless victims are fodder for the sadistic and vengeful ambitions of the system. He gives a bald account of how the state claims legitimacy for police violence through the enduring repression of its victims. Right from the beginning of the film, victims who refuse to be part of the ‘big game’ are faced with undisguised violence. This is treated as a form of entertainment, in which all displays of violence are viewed as part of the same ‘game’ metaphor. Although ultimately invalidating its authority, the government’s pursuit of power escalates until the weak and fatally oppressed masses find no other refuge than despair. Having worked with many of France’s leading directors during the Nouvelle Vague period, Miller combines the fundamentals of his own cinema with both a surrealist eye and the innovative, anti-formulaic style characteristic of the New Wave. Miller is a director, who over the course of his career has used a range of cinematic styles with impressive results. And in this candid exposé of government violence, he displays the same skill in uniting a diversity of expressive forms ranging from the use of allegory to a documentary-style narrative.

France
10'
1969

Director
Claude Miller

Script
Claude Miller

Cinematography
P. W. Glenn

Editing
Christiane Lack

Production
International Film Promotion

Cast
Gérard Desarthe
Guy Heron
Sofia Torkelli
Victor Tazartesse

Festivals
11th Festival on Wheels
CINEMA AND Anarchism