- JANUARY 21st, THE REMASTERING! -


  This film was shot in 2008. I was 20 years old, it was year 2 of freedom and by dint of working I had managed to buy myself a small camera and to put 1000€ aside. On the 21st of January, Interrail ticket in hand, I were off for 50 days of solo travel between Ljubljana, Istanbul, Odessa, Dublin and Lisbon, with the idea of ​​enjoying the moment and, by the way, to film a few clips where people would talk about their country to future travellers. The plan was to launch a website that would list all the interviews on a large crowdsourced map, where anyone could then add their own videos.
  But during the trip I also filmed the towns and landscapes and, when I got back, I finally decided to do a big report. A change of idea that inaugurated my way of making films: trusting fate and then manage. Traveling according to desires, interviewing according to the random of encounters and, once in front of my editing software, finding the link that will make it possible to produce a coherent film. And it is precisely to give chance what is due to it that the title of the film is January 21st; simply because I leaved off that day. The result is a kind of anti-thauma, this ancient style of writing which had an annoying propensity to add marvelous to attract the curiosity of readers... a principle taken up in many modern documentaries but here, nothing fantastic and no embellishment; the aim of this first film is to show raw reality, highlighted by a shoot under the patronage of Tyche, the Greek goddess of Fortune.

  Tyche (...). It is you who make the light vessels fly on the waves; it is you who preside over the bloody combats and the wise deliberations of mortals. You play with their deceiving hopes: sometimes you carry them to the top of the wheel [of fortune], sometimes you precipitate them from it. Never had any of them received from the Immortals a certain omen of their future: their spirit, shrouded in darkness, cannot look beyond the present. Often unforeseen misfortunes deceive their expectation and their desires, while others, beaten by the storm, see happiness suddenly smile on them,and their destiny change in an instant.
Pindar, in Olympics

  Because the Greek pantheon allows beautiful metaphors, and because it's fancy, this will therefore be my cinematographic genre: Tychean reports, where the absence of preparation makes it possible to catch the most of the essence of a place at one moment. A method as idealistic as it is practical, since it has the advantage of not requiring much organizational effort...

Clément Elbaz, april 2008
  This film of my 20, if I redid it after having exceeded 30, it is because in my opinion as an author it deserved a slightly better finish. What was tolerable in 2008 is no longer; at the time YouTube only allowed to upload 10 minute videos, in half-HD and without subtitles... the film was therefore divided into five over-pixelated parts and, as with 2882 views, I had no not much to lose, I resolved to remaster it... without really redoing it. If the image has been improved, the order of the shots has remained almost completely identical to the original version, just like the music; I simply stabilized what was shaking too much and corrected the colorimetric errors of my camera's autopilot... leaving some imperfections on the way. Because they fit well with this somewhat grunge atmosphere of the Eastern European winter, and also because one day's flaw often becomes the next day's charm. This charm was all the more felt as by immersing myself in these old rushes, I had the pleasant impression of opening a door to a past that is close but already different from the present, an era without smartphones and without social networks - at least for Eastern Europe and for me, who had opened my first mailbox only six months ago. This film is therefore also about a trip to the very end of the disconnected days, at a time when paper maps had not yet been replaced by Google Maps, and when travel remained the best tool for hearing others speak.
  At last, if the voice-over has also been reworked, it's only partly, to re-express in a slightly more fluid way what I thought at the time. As when we give our opinion on the work of a friend, I took the liberty of making some corrections to my old self... taking care to leave this touch of tart idealism from my 20 years old, that the somewhat misanthropic - realistic - thirtysomething that I became judge with a touch of envy.

  In the end, here is the result! A report that is starting to date, already. Amateur, idealistic but realistic and remastered in the form of a cinematic styled-tousled. Testimony of a moment in history lived at the age of 20, but carrying a reflection that wants to be timeless, since it only describes this oceanic feeling that can take us on the discovery of a continent. Because in reality, if I (re)made this film, it is above all to confirm the desires of those of the young generation who, having just fallen from the nest and regardless of the year written on the calendar, are taken by the very personal desire to travel.

- UNIVERSAL INCOME: END OF POVERTY OR END OF WORK? -

Reading time: 20 minutes (writing time: 15 minutes)

  Although France is the seventh economic power in the world, it counts 9 million poor people. In a Republic which constitutionally claims to be social, 15% of the population still lives without being able to find a proper housing, or even heat or eat properly.
  But despite the increasing of this figure, poverty may only last for a few years left... and to arrive at a better future, or at least to tomorrows when the financial causes of hunger and cold would have disappeared, the evocation of a solution takes more and more space in the debates about the social future of the State: the establishment of a universal basic income, ie the monthly and unconditional payment, to each adult, of an allowance allowing them to live a life of dignity... without any professional constraints.

1) Dolce far niente[, French future?] - Painting by John William Godward, 1904

  The idea is pleasant but divisive: if it immediately seduces the most idealistic and the most languid of us, nearly two thirds of the French population are already opposed to it, fearing that it will make work superfluous and, above all, that it would foster the laziness of a minority by to the labor of the majority.

  There's only one thing we love to see shared with oneself, although it is very dear to us: our opinion.

  The general opinion could begin to shake after noticing that since being universal and unconditional, the amount of the UBI would be cumulative with other sources of income, making it a financial contribution to invest, set aside or spend on leisure. But beyond the satisfaction of a reinforced budget or the hope of eternal vacations, and to overcome the fear of the advent of a dependency culture, the imperative need to fight poverty pushes to investigate the feasibility of this solution, which this article will do by answering four questions:

      I/ Is universal basic income a revolutionary concept?
      II/ What impact would it have on society, the world of work and individuals?
      III/ What amount will have to be paid and where to find the money - without taxing too much?
      IV/ If desirable and feasible, then when?

I/ Updating old ideas

  The figures of poverty remind us that in spite of the social advances and the technical progress of the last centuries, misery still exists, that it is common and that it strikes hard. Its causes are complex and its consequences are many, but to make it better the UBI follows a principle of Biblical simplicity: no poor, no poverty.

2) Manna, mythical precedent of the UBI. Woodcut, Anton Koberger's Bible (1483)

  It is said that 3200 years ago Hebrews fled from Egypt, and that during forty years of desert wanderings, their subsistence was ensured without their having to hunt, gather or plough; the prayers of their Guide were enough for their God to make water gush from the stones, and to rain nourishing meals from heaven. This pretty legend proves that the unconditional coverage of the essential needs of a population is an already very old idea, of which the UBI would therefore be a practical and secular version... a passage of the principle of unconditionality from the idea to the reality that follows the direction of history: if the legend of the manna has taught for millennia to those who believe it that Providence will respond to faith, for a few centuries mentalities have changed and, far from the necessities of deserts and Bronze Age, more or less freed from any clergy, the people of today place their faith in human effort rather than in the intervention of a putative divinity.

  Help thyself, Heaven will help thee too.
Conclusion of the fable of The waggoner stuck in the mud, la Fontaine, 17th century

  The logic carried by this old verse has become the most popular, from an individual but also collective point of view because the State - that is to say everyone because in a democracy, the State is Us - also gradually freed from the idea of Providence began to act and, among other activities, to improve the fate of Les Misérables. A section of the population which, freed from mere hope and noting that anchoring in reality help to more surely fulfill some divine promises, has attached itself to the principle of redistribution of the fruits of the community's labor.

3) Manna, secularized thanks to Photoshop, 2022

  Farewell to the biblical  tradition, so long to the hagiographers, and hello to the welfare. Once the idea of the unconditional distribution of necessities for survival was actualized, money took the place of manna, and Marianne took the place of YHWH.

BOATCH: SAILING THE WILDERNESS

 The boredom of 2020 allowed me to remember that on one of my hard drives, the images of a remarkable adventure were waiting to be edited... the adventure of three young men from Toulouse and their reckless project: to join Bordeaux by the Garonne.
  Born during a solid drinking on the banks of the river, this idea materialized with the purchase of an 250kg capacity Caravelle K85 inflatable type boat. Precisely what it takes to carry a little equipment and the three bold young men of 232 kilos combined. On April 7, 2014, the Bob Dyla's crew was fit to board. Fit to share an adventure.
  Five intense and cold days followed, spent between dangers and meanders and passing through the exotic towns of Montech, Agen and even Langon… where the adventure ended in a tragic shipwreck.

Failure is the foundation of success.

  I do not understand what this philosopher meant saying that, but I prefer his quote to Frédéric Dard's one, who said that failure is the success of the douche. It's more lucid but a little harsh. Anyway, this true life lesson deserved more than a successful Facebook page and an article in a local newspaper. More was needed and, with the video above, here is more: the trailer for an epic film, itself the witness of an unique adventure... Have a good trip, sailors !

N.B: the adventure has not come to its planned end, thereby it is quite possible that the same will be true for the making of the complete film.

- THE JURORS REPUBLIC: A NEW WAY TO AN ECOLOGIC SOCIETY -

Reading time: 12 minutes (writing time: 10 minutes)

  Are our western regimes only semi-democratic, and do they lead us towards a collective disater? Two questions in one for a sad answer: yes. A yes that will be detailled in this article at the end of which, to go beyond alarmism and easy criticism, we will propose a practical solution fitting to France and any other society. To know it now all you have to do is to join the part VI but, if time allows and if you feel like it, we will start with the analysis of the revealing response Emmanuel Macron gave to the claims expressed, with more or less peacufully, by the yellow vests movement.

1) Starting of a debate between representatives of the executive and a group of citizens

  Aside a vigorous maintenance of public order, the French président organized just like Louis XVI in 1789 the collection of Cahiers de doléance : lists of grievances drawn up by the French population that summarize more than 10,000 citizen meetings and 2 million online contributions.

  ... at least will we show that we are a People who is not afraid to talk, to exchange, to debate.
Emmanuel Macron

  In his shirt sleeves to let us know about his energic involvement, the présiden participated to a few meetings, while waiting for a summary of all grievances to be submited to him… before being directly classified. Nothing is accessible to the press and the conclusion of this so-called democratic exercise was the Président's one and alone: ​​postponement of the inclusion of the NOTA on ballots, of the Citizens' initiative referendum, and of the re-establishment of the solidarity tax on wealth. This refusal of the main demands of the yellow vests, even if supported by most of the French, reveals a first reason for our yes: it seems that in France, and probably in many other countries, citizens do not decide through their representatives, but elect people who decide for them. And that if between two elections the People can talk, nothing forces the executive to listen. A de facto semi-democracy, which allowed the president to escape a major challenge to his policies with some minor and symbolic promises.
  A year later, one of its pledges was fulfilled: a second consultation, called Citizen's convention for the Climate, brought together for several months 150 people representing the French population, and selected at random. On the other hand, the subject they were given to think about does not seem to have been chosen at random: as the popular movement of yellow vests was born out of the protest of a fuel prices rise, average citizens were much likely to confirm that the people's priority was not ecology, and to offer the government a popular guarantee to its reluctance on the subject. But no, absolutely not, and it is precisely this small political fail that will inspire us to find a solution to escape the collective disaster, to the eventuality of which we are now going to look.

2) On the left, the blue planet. On the right, a blue trash can.
The integrity of one depends in part on the proper use of the other.

I / State of art

  During the last 10,000 years, Mankind has grown from less than 10 million to more than 7 billion people, and from isolated groups to vast interconnected nations. The development of agriculture, animal breeding and the road network that came along our evolution radically changed the landscapes and is still sets back, today, what remains of unspoilt nature.
  Thus our formerly scattered species has disconnected from the wild while connecting with itself... but the consequences of our contacts with nature were paradoxically amplified, and this is the first great ecological threat to which we are exposed: while they had a limited impact at the time of small hunter-gatherers groups, infectious disieses of animal origin have because of our ultra-connection turned into deadly pandemics... plague was brought by marmots, AIDS by monkeys and, today, coronavirus by the pangolin or the bat.

3) Quartet of guilty innocents

  The situation is paradoxical but clear: like the first human settelments, our global village remains surrounded by the wilderness. And a quick overview allows us to see that our use of fossil fuel puts us face to face with a second threat: a pollution that generates a process of global warming promising to be the cause, in a less and less distant future, of diluvian dramas and others plagues. Our influence on nature is not a control, and this irrefutable fact suggests that if our societies want to continue to develop without destroying themselves, we must move towards a change of model or, at the very least, a control of our current excesses.
  Well informed about the situation that we have just summarized, and although of all political stripes and all social conditions, the 150 French citizens of the Convention have, after only 9 months of experts consultations and debates, given birth to 149 proposals, all going toward political ecology. Here are a few :

- EGYPTIAN PROJECT -



  This video presents the project of a 52-minutes documentary that I started working on during a trip to Egypt, in November 2019.
Filming will go on in France and Israel when I'll find a production company to buy the project. What's the subject ?
  Today there are only half a dozen Jews in Egypt, while they were to more than 80,000 in 1947. This disappearance is the consequence of the rise of Arab nationalism and the return of a Jewish political power in the region, after 2000 years of absence.
  The documentary will highlight the modern exodus of the Jews of Egypt, while following the memorial battle of those who have remained and of the exiled ones who, from France or Israel, contribute or complete it.
  We will meet Magda Haroun (lawyer and president of Drop of Milk, association based in Cairo), Albert Arié and his son Sami Ibrahim (members of Drop of Milk), and also André Cohen and Yves Fedida (Association for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Jews of Egypt - ASPCJE, based in Paris).
  Also, from the local to the general, the film will deal with the exodus of Jews from all Arab countries (800,000 exiled); To underscore the universality of the suffering of exile, Palestinians who had to flee the 1948 Arab-Israeli war will also be interviewed.
  The story will be told objectively, and no facts will be overlooked. While leaving the floor to those who have lost everything, without watering down their speeches, the film will highlight the social actors who try to bring communities together through culture.

- IS THE FRENCH POSTAL SERVICE STILL NAZI FRIENDLY? -

  It seems yes, and here's the proof with a vintage stamp, representing the left profile of Hitler - however not his best. Duly cancelled by the French postal services, it makes us wonder if the public company has duly freed itself from its WWII period of Collaboration...


The dates have been hidden so that no employee is charged with negligence.

  Why did I do this? First, because it's funny.
  Yes it is.
  But also to remid us that between 1940 and 1944 Vichy France actively collaborated with the Nazis, thus offering to History the bitter memory of the roundups of Jews and the imprisonment of gypsies, Spanish Republicans and Resistance fighters. Vichy has of course delegated the production of his base works to public services; SNCF for example, the French national railway company, organized the departure of convoys for Auschwitz.
  But a lesser known collaboration is that of the PTT, the French Post, whose direction once purged of all of its Jews and Freemasons ordered to intercept, on behalf of Vichy France and for the Nazis, written or phone communications. This was widely accepted by the employees, even if a fair number of them entered the Resistance.
  Enlightened by the dark hours of history and at a time of rising extremisms - brown or platinum blonde with an absurd styling - it may seem interesting to wonder if French Public Services have learned their lesson from the past.
  Last time I checked, all Jews traveling by train to Germany do so on their own free will, and Jacques Chirac apologized for the State responsibility in 1995. Guillaume Pépy, lip-service like and a little constrained, presented the excuses of the SNCF in 2011. (But perhaps he found it rude that the Jewish associations had not noticed that these trains were, for once, perfectly on time...). French Post apologies are still pending in 2020, and I take the opportunity of this article to suggest that a declaration would not hurt anyone; neither to today's management, nor to the still living victims of this collaboration.
  Of course, the French Post of 2020 is far from the actions of the PTT at the time of WWII, aberrant cancellation of this stamp is only a mistake - your complaints will unlakely be better received if you visit your neighborhood post office with a Panzer. But this Nazi stamp case highlights another problem: if it went through like a letter in the post, it is because it did not go through anyone's hands.
  In the Post just as in the others public domains automation, subcontracting, opening to competition and reduction of workforce are a must; a fashionable corporate policy of our era. This time, instead of adapting the present to prepare the future, as the Liberals say, this policy has opened a window to a 75-year-old dirty past.
  With a moronic stamp as the joke for now. But what if totalitarianism comes back up to date? As in China, it will be a reign of dematerialization and cold algorithms that execute orders without delay, mistake, and also without question.
  On this day, of course, the letters will arrive faster than with Monique and André, our good old traditional civil servants. But if there are only robots without conscience and without principles... who will be there to resist?

Translated to proper English with the kind help of Laila Emily.

- MAURICE, A FRENCH SOLDIER IN WWII -



  This documentary follows the journey of a tanker who, after leaving his native North Africa, ended the war by taking over the Berghof, Hitler's alpine den.
While this fancy nonagenarian is preparing to celebrate his 92's birthday with a parachute jump, he is asked about his stories of war... and what led him to fight. Because that is the most striking aspect of his career: Maurice was completely dragged by history, and did not really choose his place.
Was it rare? Of course not. But does History determine the destiny of everyone, great or anonymous? Everyone have to make up their own minds, but all I see is that the leeway is limited, and that if the place that fate offers suits us more or less, we usualy sit in it without too much dispute.
From this observation comes the conclusion of the film, a nod to Arendt. Because Evil or Good are almost always served by normal, "mundane" people, whom were driven by circumstances.
Here is the story of an anonymous hero of 39-45, a character ultimately not so mundane whose story will certainly captivate you and who, I hope, will drive you to  you reflect about the place we have in History... and about the side where our own mundanity can flourish.