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Vautier René

born in 1928

director, filmmaker

René Vautier is a French filmmaker and screenwriter. He led his first militant activity during the Resistance in 1943 at the age of 15 and was awarded the French Croix de Guerre (military award) at the age of 16. He directed his first feature film in 1950, Afrique 50, which was censured and for which he was condemned before being internationally recognized. He then, in France, joined the National Liberation Front for the independence of Algeria. Director of the Algerian Audio-Visual Centre (1962-1965), he was also the secretary general of Cinémas Populaires. He pursued his anticolonial cinematographic activism particularly with the film To Be Twenty in the Aurès, one of the very few films devoted to the war in Algeria, which also faced censure before receiving the International Critics Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972. A rebellious and profound screenwriter, he would come to know, again and again, the wrath of censure. Imprisonments, hunger strikes, but also numerous prizes mark his career. In 1998, René Vautier published Caméra citoyenne, a book in which he recounts his life as a filmmaker and his fight against censorship in France.


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