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WR, A Day in Oradour

  • France
  • 2011
  • fr
  • English
  • 23'

In June 1949, Louis Aragon asks Willy Ronis to photograph the “caravans of Peace” in Oradour. Two years after the start of the Cold War, peaceful mobilization is back on the agenda and the tragic village of Oradour-sur-Glane is chosen to symbolically host the first Peace Congress. Willy Ronis unveils his unpublished archives and immerses himself in the highlights of the event, the interventions of Louis Aragon, Elsa Triolet, Picasso... The testimonies of Pierre Daix, journalist, who covered the Congress, and Pascal Plas, historian, bring this forgotten period back to life.

WR, A Day in Oradour
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Synopsis

In June 1949, Louis Aragon asks Willy Ronis to photograph the “caravans of Peace” in Oradour. Two years after the start of the Cold War, peaceful mobilization is back on the agenda and the tragic village of Oradour-sur-Glane is chosen to symbolically host the first Peace Congress. Willy Ronis unveils his unpublished archives and immerses himself in the highlights of the event, the interventions of Louis Aragon, Elsa Triolet, Picasso... The testimonies of Pierre Daix, journalist, who covered the Congress, and Pascal Plas, historian, bring this forgotten period back to life.

What you will find in this film

The testimony of Willy Ronis faced with his archives • The issues of the late 1940s • A report commissioned by Louis Aragon for Les Lettres Françaises • The words of Pierre Daix who experienced that day and published Willy Ronis' photos • Why Oradour, symbol of peace? • The mobilization of Louis Aragon, Elsa Triolet, Pablo Picasso for peace • What was expected of reporters at the time • Angles that interested Willy Ronis • The importance to him of staying away from the crowd • Unpublished images of the provisional village of Oradour in 1949 • Life resumes in the reconstructed village • Willy Ronis' opinion on the role of captions in the press • The 1994 publication of Les Lettres Françaises

I moved away from the crowd so that I could tour the ruins, steep myself in them, without being distracted by people's conversations.

Film chapters

summary00:00 Oradour, a place for peace

summary07:54 Willy Ronis remembers

summary15:58 Images of 1949

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Linked Articles

Further exploration

• PARIS RONIS - artist: Willy Ronis ; 2018 ; Flammarion ; bilingual edition

• WILLY RONIS BY WILLY RONIS: THE MASTER PHOTOGRAPHER’S UNPUBLISHED ALBUMS - author: Matthieu Rivallin ; 2018 ; Flammarion

• WILLY RONIS - authors: Alexander Gaude, Jean-Claude Gautrand, Markus Müller and Ann-Katrin Hahn ; 2013 ; Kehrer Verlag ; bilingual edition

• WILLY RONIS: LA VIE EN PASSANT - authors: Sylvia Bohmer and Matthias Harder ; 2005 ; Prestel ; bilingual edition

• WILLY RONIS - directed by Jean-Claude Gautrand ; 2005 ; Taschen

• WILLY RONIS - author: Paul Ryan ; 2002 ; Phaidon Press

• SUNDAYS BY THE RIVER - author: Noel Simsolo ; 1999 ; Smithsonian Books

• WILLY RONIS: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1926-1995 - author: Peter Hamilton ; 1995 ; Museum of Modern Art

• WILLY RONIS, 1934-1987 - author: Hiromi Nakamura ; 1991 ; Editions Treville

• ON CHANCE’S EDGE - artist: Willy Ronis ; 1991 ; Contrejour