I salute you, Palestine

Frame from the film/documentary "Ici et ailleurs"
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By EDUARDO GALENO*

Considerations about the film “Ici et ailleurs” by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville

“Whether the state of exception can really be eliminated from the world or not is not a legal question” (Carl Schmitt, Political theology).

Discontinuity

“In 1970, this film was called Victory. In 1975, this film was called Here and elsewhere.” The beginning is the end. Or the opposite. It's the same.

Hypothesis: make a film about Palestine, about the Palestinian revolution, in 1970. Fact: melancholically, in 1975, Jean-Luc Godard discovers the failure to say, to speak. The discontinuities between fact and hypothesis present the documentary in the form that highlights the world, the real: sublime determinism or determinism of the fragment. It's a journey that's always coming. That's why it's distressing. Instability.

Rehearsal – I can’t say

It is baseless and complex to represent the pain and suffering of a – faceless –, deterritorialized people. Precisely, Here lies the emergence of formal experience in Here and elsewhere: if it is impossible to formalize the loss, let the formalization be lost. But it is not simply about making things lose, playing with the uselessness of expression, but making this regulation – extremely important for any act in the practices of cinema, writing, painting, etc. – the bridge to the neutrality of the image, which means, in other terms, incommunication, something not even formed, not thought out. Isn't Palestine exactly that: a non-place? 

You don't say anything when you have everything to say. In Palestine in 1970 as in France in 1975, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Third

As such, the enunciation and elsewhere allows us to show that place that exists and does not exist.

Jean-Luc Godard: “space and time, question and answer, entry and exit, order and disorder, interior and exterior, black and white…”

Still and now, France and Palestine, family and guerrilla group – what would happen if this mixture occurred? A proposition in which someone overcomes the dyad and the pure conjunction, revealing what is most particular about this relationship of the ET. It seems that for the Jean-Luc Godard of 1975 there is a Palestine. For the one from 1970, there is another one.

Palestine and Palestine: self-awareness. Consciousness whose function, in such a way, is not voluntary: it is the object itself that captures Jean-Luc Godard's thought. Bodies permanently curled up and transmuted into thought, which fall, not without great difficulty (“very easy and very simple to simply say that the rich are wrong and the poor are right”, says JL.G), into a pit of indecision. (Because it is in the void, after all, that non-binary, Godardian images are placed).

This suggests an echo, it suggests a displacement. It is easy to say that Israel is wrong, very easy to say that the IDF is wrong to kill Palestinians. Thus, for this reason, Jean-Luc Godard rejects any immediacy in Here and elsewhere: we need to overflow the words, but due to wear and tear. We can, from this point, show. However, not by association: when Jean-Luc Godard superimposes Hitler and Golda Meir, he is not associating one figure with the other. A third appears between two codes, “another image that will induce an interstice between the two”.¹

In this environment, in this intermezzo – between Treblinka [and Gaza?] –, the grammar of beings is unfurled and invalidated, admitting as contiguous (but not true) the sign that was previously there, eternalized. Jean-Luc Godard manages to make the sound become an image and the image to be a sound – breaking in the center of the language – when he “exhausts” the continuum da Coisa, that spelling that makes cinema wobble.

make sure you have exhausted
everything that communicates
by immobility
and through silence²

Blanchot said: “seeing is perhaps forgetting to speak”³. Not a thousand words are worth a picture, respond Godard and Miéville.

Wrong sum, right sum

“Capital works like this: at a given moment, Capital adds and what it adds are zeros.”

No Dziga Vertov, hope and dream were combined by Gorin and Godard, in 1970, in Jordan, before Black September: the will of the people + armed struggle + political work + prolonged war = until victory. But the result didn't match. Poor revolutionary idiot… some impediment stood in the way of victory. The calculation ended very differently, with almost four thousand fedayeen, guerrillas of PLO, dead.

Five years later, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville try another way: not by adding, but by doing with: 1917 and 1936 and 1970. Differential images of aporia are born there. At no point does the process through which this is engineered convey aporia as irresponsibility or quietism, but as a crossing. Godard appears to have crossed, since the failure of May 1968, the river that would flow into our music (2004) and Film socialism (2010), who also curse the apartheid Israeli and, in a way, continue the pragmatic project of Here and elsewhere. The new calculation aimed to repair and overcome both the liberalism of New wave as for post-68 voluntarism, coming from the French interpretation of Mao. Regarding the imperialism of images, there is this intense attempt to embrace the meaning of generalization through a deviation(misappropriation). It is in this place that he sees the strategy of getting close and avoiding the whole: Brezhnev, television, porn magazines, Kissinger, the French Communist Party...

Theater

Due to the fact that it triggers an internal criticism of the representation, Here and elsewhere says: every engagement can turn out to be a lie. The child reciting out loud the poem by Darwish, the leader of the Fatah representing the people or the filmmakers creating a scenario in which the main case is the repetition – of commandments and orders – of a young woman to the speeches of the master signifier: everything contemplates a genre that could range from left-wing militancy to fascism (Jean-Luc Godard quotes, such is the law of speech).

In this sense, what challenges and does not cease is the event of closure of the representation. Theater was like this for two thousand years, adapting the father's jealousy, the perversity of Oedipus and the closure of interpretation in favor of unity. What to do about this? The nuances are (or are created) in the work itself. Here and elsewhere he wants to dismantle the organic from this fissure in the middle of the mise-en-scène. Something should not be a slave. At least that's how it is in Godard's intervention. 

And if we take away the power of language, we are left with aphasia. In front of the sick, these aphasics (of emission, since they cannot say their own messages), “Palestinian savages” – an adjective for all the surplus that is not fully Human and subject –, Godard allowed himself to remain silent after his review. You fedayeen they spoke of disappearance and death when Jean-Luc Godard spoke and represented them victoriously.

“We wanted to shout victory (…) in their place.”

Us and them, here and there

I reach out to anyone in any situation. But in what is lost between me and the other, estrangement opens up. The drop of noise that deafens me is not the previous one, which had already given me the possibility of uterine connection with the foreigner. This deafness, the impediment to hearing the voice of what comes from outside, is, at the same time, violent and quiet for me. I solidify, then, in solitude. She is the one who leaves the vacancy for a new space. Dissymmetrical space, totally occasional, space of insufficiency. It is the space in which I scream, echoing my voice and making the other person's voice heard as well (because he, after all, also screams).

For Jean-Luc Godard, Settembrini “completes” Naphta⁴ in some way. In some ways, the colonial hatred of the Israelis completes the colonized fragility of the Palestinians. Here, what is at stake and evident is less exploitation (exaggerated identification with the other, which, in the end, is an ethnocentric narcissistic element) than outsideness [exteriority] for a self-othering [self-otherization] than intrusive radicality, outpouring of the Outside in all its complexification, even in a paradoxical form.

The we of the French family necessarily merges with the they of the Palestinians, just as the here depends on the there. In this way, the discrepancy between the two places can only come from the outside, through the forcing of something that goes beyond the meanings of the ratio imagery, the economy of images. Godard's essay film is perhaps a research into this imprecise, forged material that images have on us.

Not ideological, but idea. Not a fair image, fair image.

“Here, a French family watching television.
There, images of the Palestinian revolution.”
Miéville: “the others, this There of our Here.”

Didacticism

Bertold Brecht's didactic plan permeates the film. Everything revolves around a debate about principles and reasons, conditioning a referential stupor of images. Being cold, hot and warm, the sound that comes out (of the gunshots and the TV, of the Palestinians and the French family or even of Jean-Luc Godard) asks the meaning a question: what do we do, what do we say and what do we show with images of ethnic erasure?

I think there is no model. That's what the voice over of the film wants to make us point.

“These are films that analyze themselves”⁵, he said. To mean, Here and elsewhere it is part of a post-dramatic cinema. Just as Brecht made the revolution in theater (but through different paths, contexts and poles), Godard tried to make it in cinema (or, in fact, continued the revolution that the 1960s gave to this practice).

On this topic, the Godardian path is: we will strain our information as much as possible, put it in a vacuum and then spread traces. Class: show for you what and how it is done. Here and elsewhere It is a class above all.

Jean-Luc Godard as archivist

I want to emphasize: the melancholy of the images in Here and elsewhere is not defeatist. She is an archivist. Because she works not with definitive defeats, but testimonies, temporal and spatial testaments (Godard: “my double identity, space and time, linked to each other”).

The lament of the archives, as such, appears like a pitch in the imagination, a mark that leaves traces, completely played out in the breadth of traces. Jean-Luc Godard's lament responds to an intimate characteristic of space-time: the search for different forms of life, including anachronistic apparitions (Nachleben). To this post scriptum of cinema, through the postmodern perception, Godard seems to enter. 

This is why the moment of imago repeats the tendency to go beyond the principle of the present. Here and elsewhere it is between Vertov and Warburg. It brings the perception to the material sublime, while, on the other hand, it invokes the “archive” as a contemporary ruin. Therefore, it amplifies the relationship of images, conjuring other types, planes and modes of intrusion. It means saying that the Palestine of 1970 – its practices, its feelings – resonates in this, the current one, at the moment I write and at the moment someone reads what I write. This is time and space, virtualities and realities, dreams and actions.

Commit to the forgotten – he kept it. Commit to justice, “the tradition of the forgotten”⁶. He, at the same time as this review, wrote:

EU
I NO LONGER HAVE 
ESPERANCA
THE BLIND
TALK ABOUT ONE
OUTPUT
EU 
I SEE⁷

The text began with a statement by Carl Schmitt about the limits of law. Let's ask now: in art, are there limits to the response to the state of exception, more specifically in cinema? Even today, can we talk about the representation of Palestinian pain and struggle? If so, we just need to insist on other responses and intentions – obviously designed based on a responsible decoupage, translation of our impossible scraps –, such as that of poetry; If not, I remember Darwish's words in Palestine as a metaphor: they won, “it will be the end”.

*Edward Galen He has a degree in Literature from UESPI.

Notes


¹ DELEUZE, Gilles. the time-image. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1990.

² GODARD, Jean-Luc. Film history(ies). São Paulo: Luna Parque e Fósforo, 2022.

³ BLANCHOT, Maurice. The infinite conversation: the plural word. São Paulo: Escuta, 2001.

⁴ Characters from the magic mountain (1924), by Thomas Mann. There is a real air in these relationships, but not exactly identity between one and the other.

⁵ GODARD, Jean-Luc. Introduction to a true history of cinema. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1989. 

⁶ AGAMBEN, Giorgio. Prose idea. Belo Horizonte: Authentic, 2012.

Six fois deux/Sur et sous la communication (1976). I believe that the film reviewed here is a turning point in Godard's career. That's why I referred, in the title, to two similar films by him: I salute you marie (1985) and Je vous salue, Sarajevo (1993), in which the event as such – be it pregnancy or war – is welcomed. 


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