“The Invention of French Luxury” on Arte, the birth of the luxury industries

France is considered around the world as the cradle of the luxury industries. A cliché undermined by this documentary. Based on the idea of ​​the journalist and visual artist Laurence Picot, who is publishing this fall a beautiful book on the subject (1), the result of ten years of investigation, the director Stéphane Bégoin tells how the influence of this sector of activity is intimately linked to the proactive policy launched by Louis XIV and his minister Colbert.

At the end of the XVIIe century, the country has suffered from a succession of bad harvests and, emptied by wars, the kingdom’s coffers are at their lowest. To straighten out the finances, Colbert believed more in the virtues of trade and export than in military conquest. But the high-end products popular with the European aristocracy are all made abroad: porcelain in China, mirrors in Italy, lace in Flanders …

A century of industrial espionage

Never mind, Colbert will apply himself to developing the production tools and perfecting the French factories, even if it means appropriating, by force or cunning, foreign manufacturing secrets. He sent emissaries all over Europe to debauch at a high price, or even kidnap, artisans and placed at the helm of the newly created royal factories of master glassmakers from Murano or clothiers from Leiden.

Secrets of art history in five podcasts

Rich in entertaining anecdotes, the film recounts a century of industrial espionage, technical innovations and standardization of quality standards, alternating interviews with specialists and relatively sober reconstructions.

We accompany Marie-Pierre Asquier, an expert in ancient ceramics, to China to pierce the mysteries of the manufacturing processes described three hundred years earlier by a Jesuit missionary, Father d’Entrecolles. An exciting journey.


“Cash investigation” on France 2, disturbing subcontracting in public services

How do the job cuts and savings demanded for years in the public services translate? This is what journalist Marie Maurice wanted to know in this episode of “Cash investigation”, which probes the practices of France’s largest employer: the State, with more than 5 million employees. In the public hospital, in the Pôle Emploi services or in the territorial administrations, these budgetary restrictions sometimes have consequences on the quality of services, even on health, or oblige to recruit at the lowest cost, even if it means going beyond the law.

Exhausted or resigned employees

At the beginning of the magazine, the journalist is employed as a cleaning lady for a lucrative cleaning company, to which the Valenciennes hospital center subcontracts the cleaning of the rooms. Summary training, lack of spare clothes, lack of equipment, timed time… the pace is such that employees, exhausted or resigned, admit not respecting the protocol.

Asked by Élise Lucet, the director of the hospital admits to subcontracting the household to reduce its costs, but denies any impact on health, without transmitting any data. Across the Channel, Scotland has put an end to this outsourcing, a study by Oxford researchers having found 15% more staphylococcus aureus in establishments delegating cleaning.

→ READ. Civic service can do even better

The magazine also questioned the state’s use of young people in civic service, paid € 580 per month, without contributing to unemployment insurance. A third of them work in the public services. Two testimonies, one from a former “volunteer” at Pôle Emploi, the other in a small town hall, show that they perform tasks to replace employees, which is prohibited by law. “A deviation”, moreover recognize the public authorities.


“Antidisturbios”, police officers trapped in violence

Riot gear

On Polar + and MyCanal

They are six. Six police officers of different ages and characters, united by the daily violence to which their policing function assigns them: dispersal of illegal demonstrations, supervision of violent supporters during football matches or even assistance with rental evictions when housing rights associations organize resistance. It was precisely during one of them, in a working-class neighborhood of Madrid, that the riot squad led by Salvador Osorio got out of hand and involuntarily caused the death of a young migrant.

A look full of nuances

In a tense social and political context – immigration, terrorism, Catalan referendum – the affair is explosive. It is entrusted to the internal affairs police officers who initially exonerate them before unearthing a compromising video. Dropped by its hierarchy, the brigade then becomes the convenient scapegoat for a series of dysfunctions. This is without counting on the obstinacy of one of the investigators, Laïa, determined to bring out a truth much more murky and complex than one could imagine.

→ ANALYSIS. Recruitment, training, control: the shortcomings of the police

On a subject of burning topicality, that of police violence, Rodrigo Sorogoyen intelligently manages to combine the thriller with the intimate chronicle of the daily life of these police officers and brings a nuanced look to it. By taking us on board, camera on our shoulders, at their sides, he confronts us as much with the extreme difficulty of their task as with the often excessive violence of their response. In addition to the formal quality of its production and interpretation, this six-part mini-series also never forgets to broaden the gaze and question the responsibility of a country in need of authority, plagued by corruption and the race for profits, of which the police are only obedient servants.


“Chagall between two worlds”, or the return to Vitebsk

Chagall’s early paintings remain among his finest and most daring. The artist mixes it with the influence of the avant-garde he discovered in Paris, from 1910, to the Jewish world of Vitebsk, where he grew up. A city where he returns in 1914 for his fiancée Bella and finds himself blocked by the war, then the Russian revolution in which he engages. Much of his inspiration comes from this city, little known here, where the Jews lived confined, deprived of the same rights as Russian citizens until 1917.

Added to this was the threat of pogroms breaking out across the empire. By taking us to Vitebsk, Laurence Jourdan’s documentary sheds light on this threatened Yiddish culture, which Chagall took care to preserve in his paintings, at the same time when the writer Shalom Anski launched ethnographic missions across Russia to collect the folklore of his community.

Secrets of creativity

Paced by magnificent works deciphered by Russian and French art historians or the painter’s granddaughter, Meret Meyer, the fate of Chagall, upset by the war then ousted by Kasimir Malévitch from the Revolutionary Art School who ‘he had founded, is enlightened. Some of the Russian painter’s visual inventions directly echo Yiddish expressions, explains for example Nathalie Hazan-Brunet, curator at the Museum of Art and History of Judaism in Paris.

The influence on the artist of the “paintings of the shtetl” of his first teacher in Vitebsk, Yuri Pen, is also revealed. Just like the crucible in which he works: in Paris, at La Ruche in the vicinity of Soutine, Krémègne, Kikoïne and Zadkine, in Vitebsk alongside Youdovine and Lissitzky, his childhood friend who will end up betraying him by embracing Malevich’s supremacy. . Chagall then returned to Paris in 1922, too attached to his freedom to shut himself up in this radical abstraction.


birth of a monument of letters

“Les Misérables” and Victor Hugo: in the name of the people

Wednesday October 28 at 10:45 p.m. on Arte

On June 30, 1861, Victor Hugo put the final point to the Miserable. “Now I can die”, he would have said then… A miraculous contract with the Belgian publisher Albert Lacroix, tremendous popular success, a more reserved, even hostile reception from his “colleagues” writers: Baudelaire judges the work “ filthy and inept “! At 60, Hugo is definitely legendary, the former young romantic lion with long hair has become a “father of the Nation”, short haircut and white beard.

From conservative to friend of the people

In this elegantly pedagogical documentary, Grégoire Polet and Samuel Lajus recount the long genesis of this novel-world, sentimental and political, psychological and historical, grandiose and intimate. It took its author more than fifteen years of labor, interspersed with long periods of abandonment, the dormant manuscript to better return in force in the Ugolian imagination.

Enlightened by the comments of specialists – Danièle Sallenave remarkable, Jean-Marc Hovasse or Bradley Stephens -, embellished with extracts from the many films taken from Miserable, the survey explains above all how the ideology of the writer evolves during the genesis of his work. The conservative and peer of France became, under the “favor” of the revolution of 1848, a progressive taking up the cause of this people who “Claim the light with the mask of the night”.

With the sublime convict Jean Valjean, his intractable rival Inspector Javert, little Cosette exploited by the infamous Ténardier or even Gavroche, the street kid who dies a chorus on his lips… Hugo invents better than characters. He creates archetypes which, however, lose nothing of their humanity, of their emotional power. It is said that the typographers wept as they reread the proofs of the first edition. Like today’s reader, outraged by Fantine’s downfall or the end of Valjean, neglected by those he loved with a “ cosmic love (Danièle Sallenave).


“Black Panthers”, once upon a time there was the African-American revolution

What remains of the Black Panthers today? The question quickly arises at the sight of the documentary in two parts that Arte devotes to the revolutionary and anti-racist movement. In the evocation of the movement, returns first its aesthetic, ultra documented at the time and highlighted in the film: armed militants, afro cut, leather jackets, berets and dark glasses.

→ CRITICAL. Frantz Fanon, a reflection on black consciousness on France Culture

From 1966 to 1982, the Black Panther Party was the instrument of post-Martin Luther King Afro-American emancipation. That of black activists who no longer wanted to turn the other cheek. Those who, rather than fighting in Vietnam for the American empire, have chosen to fight in their own country, against white domination but also against capitalism and American patriarchal society.

A current movement, 50 years later

Thanks to the contribution of numerous archival images, Stanley Nelson’s film plunges us back into the context of a time when counter-cultures opposed racism and violence, which were nevertheless omnipresent. Soul music from the late 1960s and Emory Douglas drawings in the mind « Black is beautiful » evoke current events. A hymn of movement, Revolution has come, was repeated in June 2020 by singer Camélia Jordana during a rally calling for justice for Adama Traoré. Just as an illustration of Emory Douglas was updated by the artist on the occasion of the movement. Black Lives Matter in the USA.

The cinematographic device of the documentary helps to make the movement current. The witnesses are as much the former activists as the leaders of the time Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, questioned in the thick of the events. The film shows the limits the party encountered and which led to its downfall. In addition to the police repression, the ego wars of the leaders, sometimes armed, and the purges of militants went so far as to weaken the party at the base, as the FBI had foreseen.


When parliamentarians investigate public life

Many times on track, the merger between LCP and Public Senate has never been initiated. The two parliamentary channels which share the DTT Channel 13 have, however, increased the number of joint broadcasts (Joint hearing, Europe Hebdo, Parliament Hebdo …) and cooperation (financial, administrative …) and together celebrate their 20e anniversary.

What subject could better unite them on this occasion than the parliamentary committees of inquiry? These interrogation sessions under oath, organized after months of investigation, shook up French political life. And they were the first to broadcast them, each time with audience records.

What power for commissions of inquiry?

“Enquêtes au Parlement”, the captivating documentary directed by Stéphane Haumant and produced by First Lines, questions the independence and the power of action of these commissions by reviewing four of them.

The first, centered on the food scandal of the “Mad Cow”, caused by the sale by England of contaminated animal meal, ran up against the silence of Brussels, but made it possible to include the principle of precaution in the Constitution. and improve traceability on meat.

Behind the scenes of parliamentary inquiries

Six years later, the investigation into the Outreau trial featured an inexperienced judge who had been let down by his superiors, without prompting any major reform of the justice system. More complicated, the commissions implicating in 2012 the Minister of the Budget Jérôme Cahuzac for a hidden account in Switzerland, then in 2018 the escapades of Alexandre Benalla, the former bodyguard of Emmanuel Macron, revealed their limits.

Relying on many actors and witnesses, including the current Keeper of the Seals Éric Dupond-Moretti, the documentary reveals behind the scenes of these commissions and questions their flaws. The evening will continue with two debates, the first on the institutions and the impact of these committees, and the second on the role of parliamentary channels abroad.