In Saint-Renan, near Brest, an exceptional screening one year after the theaters closed

On the outskirts of the Breton town, the Le Bretagne cinema welcomed fifty spectators on the anniversary of the closure of cultural venues.

“I miss the cinema a lot”. Like twenty cinemas in France, the cinema called Le Bretagne, located in Saint-Renan, in Finistère, welcomed spectators eager to escape on Sunday for a screening marking the anniversary of the first closure of cultural venues. due to the Covid-19 epidemic. “The cinema on your sofa is good, but in a room it’s a whole different experience”, rejoices Lucille Quenhervé, shortly before attending the first screening of the day in the auditorium of this city of 8,000 inhabitants located about fifteen kilometers from Brest.

“I miss the cinema a lot, I understand that there are choices that must be made but I find it difficult for the theaters, where we do not move, where there is no mixing, to be closed”, continues this woman, doctor by profession, came to see Il mio corpo, a film by Michele Pennetta which compares the life in Sicily of two brothers dreaming of another destiny and that of two young migrants sharing the same hopes for a better life.

“It’s important for me to be able to have a life outside of work, to be able to have leisure time”

Stéphanie Louboutin, spectator.

“It’s important for me to be able to have a life outside of work, to be able to have leisure time”, underlines for its part Stéphanie Louboutin, when crossing the front door of this associative cinema which recorded about fifty registrations for the screening. “I teach in classes of thirty-five students and a priori that’s not a problem. There, we are in a cinema where we are very far apart and that would pose a problem? “, wonders this cinephile living in the small town known for its large Saturday morning market.

“Two hundred and forty-four days of closure”

Le Bretagne cinema has responded, like twenty others in France, to a national appeal to protest against the closing of theaters launched by the National Group of Research Cinemas (GNCR) and the Independent Cinema Association for its distribution ( Acid). “This weekend, it will be a year since all the cinemas closed their doors for the first time and have since accumulated two hundred and forty-four days of closure”, announces to spectators before the screening Céline Michell, president of the association Le Bretagne.

“Because we believe in our mission of general interest, we have chosen to open our doors to you”, she continues, before being applauded by the masked public and separated by at least two seats between each group. “Today we are organizing somewhat special screenings, professional screenings which serve to test films that have not yet been released”, explains to AFP Maxime Iffour, only employee of this associative cinema classified “Art and essay”.

“It’s a somewhat militant act to show that we are able to welcome people in a secure way”, underlines the programmer of the room, saying not to understand “The stubborn refusal of the government to respond” the expectations of dark rooms. “These are private sessions that welcome the public, it’s the way to put yourself in a framework that is as legal as possible”, notes, to AFP, the director Clément Schneider, co-president of Acid.

Unpublished films are thus shown to spectators who have registered in advance on the internet. At the end of the screening, which is free, the public is invited to complete a questionnaire intended to enable distributors to prepare for the release of the films. “The light that goes out, the screen that comes on, seeing a film in real life and no longer on a tiny screen… That is a great, great pleasure for me”, admits Irène Ménat, taking her place in the room with three hundred seats, giving a glimpse of a broad smile behind her mask.


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