1974, Une Partie de Campagne
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Time Out saysCommissioned by the independent Gaullist Valéry Giscard d'Estaing as a record of his 1974 bid for the French presidency, Depardon's slice of cinéma vérité was immediately suppressed by the narrowly victorious Giscard, who deemed it 'irreverent'. Twenty-eight years later, he at last consented to the release of this perfectly innocuous document. Most of the footage consists of Giscard stepping out of cars and planes and delivering a few platitudes before speeding off again, or discussing tactics en route to another interview, another press conference. Depardon reckons it's all about 'power, solitude and the political process'. He might have added, without sarcasm, that it's also about monotony, A Hard Day's Night without the songs and jokes. Giscard personally comes across as quite sympathetic: driving his own car, teeth defiantly uncapped, his manner pitched artfully between the diffident and the remote.