René Vautier

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René Vautier
Born (1928-01-15) January 15, 1928 (age 86)
Camaret-sur-Mer, Finistère, France
Nationality French
Occupation Film director
Known for Afrique 50

René Vautier (born 15 January 1928) is a French film director. His films addressed many issues, such as the Algerian War, French colonialism in Africa, pollution, racism, women's rights, and apartheid in South Africa.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born on 15 January 1928 in Camaret-sur-Mer, Finistère, France, the son of a factory worker and a teacher.[2] He received the Croix de guerre and the Order of the Nation from Charles de Gaulle for militant activity during the French Resistance.[2][3] In 1948, he graduated from the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques.[4]


Afrique 50[edit]

Main article: Afrique 50

Vautier made his first film, Afrique 50, in 1950, when he was 21.[2][4] He was assigned to visit French West Africa and make an educational film.[4][5] He was appalled by the conditions he witnessed, including lack of doctors and crimes committed by the French Army.[6] The resulting film was confiscated by police because of a decree by Pierre Laval, but Vautier managed to recover enough footage to publish the film in 1950.[1] Hailed as the first anti-colonial French film, he was indicted thirteen times and sentenced to a year in prison.[2][3] It was banned for over forty years.[2]

Later works[edit]

He worked with Louis Malle to make Humain, trop humain in 1973, a film about conditions in a Citroën car plant.[7] Vautier directed Peuple en marche, which gives the history of the National Liberation Army and the Algerian War, in 1963.[8] Another Algerian War film, Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès (1972), won the International Federation of Film Critics Award at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.[9][10] He made over 180 films, many of them destroyed by the French government.[7] Several of Vautier's other films were presented at Cannes, including Mourir pour des images, Comment on devient un ennemi de l'intérieur, Les trois cousins, and Vacances tunisiennes.[11] In January 1973, he went on hunger strike to protest film censorship.[1] He received the Order of the Ermine in 2000.



  1. ^ a b c Le Garrec, Félix (31 March 2003). "René Vautier" (in German). Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Militant Image: Films by René Vautier". Inivia. 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Brenez, Nicole (2012). "René Vautier: devoirs, droits et passion des images" (in French). La Furiaumana. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Sayed, Yousef (29 March 2012). "René Vautier - Wide Angle". Little White Lies. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Entretien: René Vautier, cinéaste résistant (1/2)". Alternavive Libertaire (in French). June 2004. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Afrique 50". Afrika 30. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "René Vautier". International Film Festival Rotterdam. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Peuple en marche". Fondo Filmico. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès". Fondo Filmico. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Schwartz, Arnaud (11 October 2012). "René Vautier, cinéaste: " Le sens à donner aux images ne pouvait être que le combat "". La Croix (Venice). Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Rene VAUTIER" (in French). Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 

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