Nuit Debut: Profile of an Insurrection

Struggles at Nuit Debut

Media Lien (2016)

Film Review

Below is a videographic examination of the months long Nuit Debut (Up All Night) movement in Paris. The latter, along with a series of rolling strikes, is a reaction to the draconian anti-labor law President Francois Hollande illegally enacted by decree.

The documentary consists of dramatic street footage interspersed with participants offering a range of viewpoints on the French uprising. Owing to its spontaneous formation, Nuit Debut has little formal structure. In essence 500 plus people meet every night after work in the Place Republique from 5-11 pm, holding general assemblies and forming self-organized “commissions” devoted to specific areas of focus – climate/ecology, labor law, urban gardens, constitution reform, refugee rights, etc.

According to one member, the real political activity (strikes, protests, etc) occurs in small groups on the periphery of the general assemblies. Participants have a variety of expectations for Nuit Debut, ranging from insurrection, a new republic to some kind of commune.

On the whole, participants seem unconcerned about Nuit Debut being infiltrated and/or smashed (by police) as Occupy was. With Hollande’s wholesale embrace of austerity and budget cutting, the plight of France’s working class is deteriorating rapidly. Thus, activists reason, the steady expansion of Nuit Debut (and/or whatever resistance movement replaces it) is inevitable.

Click on the CC tab for English subtitles.