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behind the movie “Histoires d’A”, the marketing campaign of pioneer medical doctors

“Dangerous style and exhibition of motherhood”. Some bans are nonetheless one of the best promoting campaigns. As Quickly Film Poster Tales of A banned, within the fall of 1973, this artist’s collage which served because the jacket for the movie by Charles Belmont and Marielle Issartel had been massively despatched to journalists. Shot rather less than two years earlier than the Veil legislation legalized the voluntary termination of being pregnant as much as ten weeks of being pregnant, the target of the movie was exactly to make noise: for the time being when a few of them melted with of the feminists of Household Planning the MLAC (Motion for the liberty of abortion and contraception), the movie had been needed by the medical doctors of the Well being Info Group (GIS). First in Grenoble, then in Paris, they have been the primary in France to apply abortion by aspiration. Due to a really small funds secured on the Household Planning money circulate, Tales of A can be shot in lower than fifteen days. It’s the story of this alliance that tells this emblematic movie which comes out this fall 2022 on DVD, and that of a whole collective that we’re rediscovering whereas the fitting to abortion remains to be struggling, thirty years after its conquest. .

Between the turmoil of its ban, in November 1973 by the Minister of Tradition, Maurice Druon, and the noisy furrow of its militant fame, Tales of A remained an iconic movie. Exactly as a result of it was not reserved for a small militant circle: this movie is each the work of a filmmaker rooted within the historical past of direct cinema and, on the identical time, the fruit of a marketing campaign developed by pioneers who had determined to go on the offensive collectively. Rediscover Tales of A thirty years later, when girls in France are having increasingly more problem discovering locations to have an abortion, it’s tracing the thread of a bigger collective historical past, revisited within the gentle of the motion of slightly arduous core. Thus the poster is signed by a sure Monique Frydman, and the artist is none aside from the spouse of René Frydman, gynecologist member of the GIS, who turned recognized in 1985 for Amandine, the primary child born by Fertilization In Glass in France. The youngsters taking part in of their backyard are these of the physician Pierre Jouannet, an awesome emblematic determine of the MLAC and the GIS, who was formally born within the spring of 1972 after a gathering with Michel Foucault. And it was Marielle Issartel, the companion of the filmmaker Charles Belmont, who we discover among the many girls who took half in what was then referred to as the “assembly of intermediaries” – them “intermediaries” have been these girls who helped others to prepare their abortion at a time when abortion was unlawful and sometimes concerned going overseas.

Registration for a trip to the Netherlands, as part of an MLAC meeting in 1974 in Paris.
Registration for a visit to the Netherlands, as a part of an MLAC assembly in 1974 in Paris.

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– Denis Cittanova / Gamma – Rapho




35 minutes

It’s she, the chief editor of the movie, director and feminist activist, who brings out this 1973 movie immediately, now that Charles Belmont has died, and that we bear in mind, this 12 months 2022, the fifty years of the “Bobigny trial”. And if we retained the identify of Marie-Claire Chevalier, the younger underage lady defended by Gisele Halimi for having aborted after being raped, solely Micheline Bambuck acquired a suspended jail sentence among the many 4 grownup girls prosecuted. Worker of line 9 of the Paris metro in life, she was the abortionist.

“Taking energy” for abortion

Just a few months after this trial, in 1973, the movie will see the sunshine of day whereas a number of key gamers will have the ability to surf on the incendiary scope of a nonetheless expensive battle. Nonetheless, this struggle for abortion was removed from unanimous, even among the many girls gathered below the label of Household Planning: it was the arrival of Simone Iff at its head that may velocity issues up, whereas the regional associations in members of the French Motion for Household Planning have been nonetheless generally ambivalent about abortion. Contraception and sexual well being weren’t but in every single place synonymous with the struggle for the fitting to abortion within the Nineteen Sixties. However the 12 months 1973 is exactly the 12 months through which Simone Iff, already on the origin of the gathering signatures of “Manifesto of the 343” printed by the New Observer, two years earlier, was going to go on the offensive, and persuade. However Charles Belmont was there, digital camera in hand: the time of some seconds engraved for posterity on his movie, it’s behind the scenes of a historic debate on abortion inside Household Planning thatTales of A leads us – a “takeover” within the means of being accomplished, testified Simone Iff bluntly, thirty years later, in interview with researcher Romain Lecler when the latter investigates the manufacturing ofTales of A.

The movie poster
The poster of the movie “Tales of A” is signed Monique Frydman

– Charles Belmont and Marielle Issartel

Ladies’s info assembly, GIS working session in the lounge of Pierre Jouannet, we comply with this handful of pioneers who will overcome the legislation, in each sense of the phrase. The one which criminalized abortion, just like the one which prohibited its promotion: it’s certainly the censorship of the movie that may do lots for the notoriety ofTales of A, at the least with journalists. As a result of will probably be vital to attend for the beginnings of the parliamentary debates on the Veil legislation, on the finish of the 12 months 1974, in order that the ban which hit the movie is lifted. However already greater than 200,000 folks had seen Tales of A on that date, alerted by militant phrase of mouth or by the press, which devoted many articles to it because the scandal unfold. If in November 1973, the very first session organized in Paris had ended as soon as the copy of the movie was seized after 5 minutes, the notoriety of the movie will double once more when in Grenoble, per week later, it’s the daughter of ‘a municipal councilor who can be injured whereas the cinema can be invaded by the forces of order. The case will make a lot noise that even within the workers of the socialist get together or the PSU, voices will declare to look at the movie. This non-public screening can be attended particularly by Pierre Mendès-France and François Mitterrand.




52 minutes

Like the employees of Boulogne-Billancourt to whom the movie can be proven on the initiative of the unions, lots of them will then uncover, in a decent shot, an abortion within the means of being accomplished, with out anesthesia, and above all with out ache. As a result of the movie by Charles Belmont and Marielle Issartel is each didactic and common public. It’s a query of exhibiting and convincing, but additionally of federating. The filmmaking couple will clarify, later, that that they had for instance opted for black and white, in order to keep away from the dread of blood purple. The picture is certainly specific, on this movie which opens with the abortion of a younger lady who has come to have an abortion along with her companion, to whom Jean-Daniel Rainhorm, an activist physician on the GIS, asks within the spring of 1973 if he desires to peek by way of the speculum to search out his girlfriend’s cervix. Elsewhere, the girl might have, too, however that day there was no mirror within the room. The 2 of them, who’ve chosen to abort regardless of the illegality and spotlight the financial difficulties, have already got kids. And for a couple of minutes, it’s the story of this lady who guides us, spectators, to the Karman methodology, whereas the gynecologist reveals her the plastic probe which now makes it attainable to aspirate the fertilized egg, with out incurring the dangers of extra archaic gestures.

The story of this movie is certainly inseparable from that of this methodology of abortion often called “by suction”, named after the charismatic American psychologist who popularized it: Harvey Karman, who got here to current this method for the primary time in Paris, in 1972, within the house within the Place des Vosges of actress Delphine Seyrig. However whereas, because the researcher Lucile Ruault will present a lot later in an thrilling counterpoint, nurses or midwives additionally wish to apply abortion because of this painless and above all secure probe, the medical doctors of the GIS intend to maintain their palms on this method for some time. The posterity of the movie Tales of A can also be embedded on this enterprise: it’s after all a query of defending the fitting to abortion, but additionally a sure means of framing it.

That is the story of this dissemination instructed by the movie shot within the spring of 1973 when on Might 9 that 12 months, Annie Ferrey-Martin, intensive care doctor in Grenoble, member of the MLAC and the GIS, was simply going to be charged, and shortly defended in flip by Gisèle Halimi. In your entire historical past of the struggle for the fitting to abortion, she would be the solely physician prosecuted for unlawful abortion. Three months later, brothers and sisters can be greater than 300 to answer, by publishing in The world a textual content that may stay because the “Manifesto of the 331” : it was Pierre Jouannet who had collected the signatures of all those that publicly acknowledged that they practiced abortions regardless of the illegality of the gesture. But Jouannet and Belmont, the director of the movie, had recognized one another a number of years earlier in what was then referred to as “Primary Vietnam Committees”. A lot in order that in his earlier movie, rak, which nevertheless was a fiction and which had been launched the earlier 12 months, in 1972, the filmmaker had already inserted interviews with the medical doctors of the GIS on the finish. As soon as the Karman methodology turned the main focus of a marketing campaign by these identical medical doctors, Jouannet as soon as once more turned to Charles Belmont. A filmmaker earlier than being an activist, he had opened the doorways of the world of cinema to GIS activists: though banned, the movie can have an expert distributor within the particular person of Claude Nedjar, who was already distributing Sorrow and Pity of Ophuls, and the CNC will even comply with back-date the filming authorization.

Charles Belmont will film
Charles Belmont will movie “conferences of intermediaries” like this one, on the MLAC, in 1974, the place girls register to depart for an abortion within the Netherlands.

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– Denis Cittanova

Due to the 4 movies shot on the identical time that present a full-screen abortion, this can be extra well-known, we are going to say for a very long time.Tales of A that he was the one one to dare. In actuality, it’s the activist documentary filmmaker Carole Roussopoulos who would be the first to movie an abortion in entrance of the digital camera. It was in Simply do not fuckhis nice movie which can precede Tales of A rather less than two years. We already noticed an eight-minute sequence, shot in actual time throughout an aspiration abortion. All filmed by alternating the perspective of the one who aborts, and the one who performs the abortion.

Due to the notoriety of sexual well being activists comparable to Pierre Jouannet or Joëlle Brunerie-Kauffman, and the mobilization of the Household Planning and MLAC networks, Tales of A will then develop into an actual instrument for selling the Karman methodology, and shortly the militant help of selection till the legalization of abortion in 1975. There stays a formidable doc of the historical past of a collective disobedience of those medical doctors to the outposts of girls’s rights. And on the poster of the movie, we at all times learn this quote from Wilhelm Reich: “We do not beg for a good, we struggle for it.”




53 minutes

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