The Incidental Insurgents: The Part About the Bandits (part 1)

Basel Abbas et Ruanne Abou-Rahme [Pal., 2012, 6 min, num., VOSTA/Original version with  English subtitles]

Ce film examine les parallèles entre les histoires, parfois tragiques, de divers bandits. Souvent décrites comme de simples criminels, exclues du récit de la lutte révolutionnaire, ces figures révèlent les limites du langage et de l’imaginaire politiques des mouvements actuels.

A search that begins with four seemingly disparate coordinates, the early anarchist life of Victor Serge and his contemporary bandits in 1910s Paris; Abu Jilda and Arameet and their bandit gang involved in a rebellion against the British in 1930s Palestine, the artist as the quintessential bandit in Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives set in 70s Mexico, and the artists themselves in present-day Palestine. Weaving the first part of the story by looking at the resonance between the inspiring, bizarre and sometimes tragic stories of these diverse bandits, the outsider rebel par excellence often rewritten as mere criminals (or naively romanticized as wayward figures) and excluded from the narrative of revolutionary struggle. Ironically, these figures most clearly articulate the incompleteness and inadequacies in the existing oppositional movements- whether the already weakened anarchist movement in Paris or the specter of failed revolution in the late 70s Mexico – political language and imaginary.