“Blood-red posters featuring portraits of wanted ‘terrorists’ decorated every street wall in occupied France during World War II, and this account of how 23 foreigners working for the Resistance were caught and executed dramatises one of the heroic myths of the Occupation. But Cassenti adopts a radically different perspective from the humanist ‘honesty’ of L’Armée des Ombres or even Lacombe Lucien, and instead attempts a Marxist analysis of the myth and what it means, historically, to re-enact it. As it moves from one level of representation to another with a Brechtian approach to performance, the film occasionally obscures its aims but never fails to challenge the way we receive history in the cinema.” – Time Out Film Guide
“The Red Poster, winner of the prestigious Jean Vigo prize in 1976, is a deliciously complex film. Directed by 31-year-old Frank Cassenti, who worked as an assistant to Costa-Gavras on The Confession, the film offers complex emotions and a welcome plethora of intellectual riches, impenetrable as they first appear. Well before the picture ends, you are looking forward to seeing it again.
The Red Poster is striking because it is at once politically and aesthetically satisfying. Though it exploits the current movement in all the arts toward increased self-reflection, epistemological self-questioning, and the insistent unmasking of the art work, Cassenti avoid climbing the tempting ivory tower to “bliss out aesthetically.” Yet, though he obviously sees himself as a political filmmaker, he feels no need to adhere slavishly to a worn-out “realism” nor to conventional narrative structure to get a message across to the mythical masses. There is something for both formalist and activist in this film.” – Film Quarterly, 1977.
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