The French Democracy in machinima

The French Democracy

Machinima is a recent trend of making films using video games engines. It is has been filled with humor and little serious content until the release of ‘The French Democracy‘, a political film about France’s riots, created using ‘The Movies’, a videogame in which players run a Hollywood studio and make their own films. The online community is hailing it for being the first politically motivated film created with this newish technique. Inspired by the recent riots in the Parisian suburbs, this 13 minutes film tells the story of three black guys (the 3 original bloggers then arrested as agitators) who suffer for racial discrimination and end up throwing bombs at cars and buildings. The aim is trying to explain the tensions that make French minority groups feel like second class citizens and fueled the violence. It also hits a note of regret for the loss of historical democratic ideals: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. The director, Alex Chan, an industrial designer with no previous filmmaking experience, saw his film as a way to bypass traditional media and send a message of tolerance to young people. This is why ‘The French Democracy’ gives evidence to the potential of game movies as commentaries on current events. As the riots run through the Net, Chan is spreading is message through the online community. The web log entitled to the memory of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore` became the core of the communication among the rioters and was closed. Actually the word of mouth connected to Chan’s artwork is linking the ‘community’ of young video games lovers, used to violence, through a more peaceful indymedia.

Valentina Culatti