Mai Deet is the portrait of Gérard Omnès Coupa, a movie's sketch about work disappearance.
It is the portrait of a fisherman, in Brittany, France, who gave up his passion. In 1991, Jacques Mellick, the French socialist Fisheries Minister, conceived a political measure in order to react to the crisis that was disturbing the whole field, so as the whole industrial world. He planed a subsidy for every fisherman who would accept to scrap his boat and quit the job. The boats would be burned-out to avoid any reconversion, and prevent the beaches to remain cemeteries. Like many others, Gérard get the chance of this subdsidy to get out of a financial situation that had become unbearable. The « Mellick's Plan » has encouraged the breakage of most little boats, the most indebt owners, and it has consecrated the industrial fishing. Therefore, the situation got worse, increasing the fishing resources pressure. The disappearing of theses resources justified new quotas and new boat abandonments, from then on decided at the european level.
The content and the form of this video are very documentary, except the black screens that replace the traditional picturesque shots illustrating the work gestures or the landscapes. At the same time we can see the evolution of the beach building sites : residencies, villas in construction.
I focused on the social invisibility. The denying of the work reality, of the manufacture, of these tough, beautiful, precise and repeated gestures, that are consequently linked to unhappy social conditions. These gestures are kept away, hidden, the work is nothing but considerated as a way to make money, we would like to forget its toughness and therefore, we curse it twice : it was already a malediction, now it should be hypocritically ignored. The industrial society, by disappearing, would give birth to a new world, free from the gravity matter, where either the individuals or the capitals could freely circulate ; the increasing energy Europe puts to control its borders, and even its interior migration movements, or the raw material and financial flows related crisis, remind us that we are not done with physical and social reality.
I don't know then if the black screens that punctuates this portrait are participating more to the construction or to the demolition of the movie. At the same time this movie is a sketch, a movie project, and I am waiting for the alternatives, the reverse shots.
Yann Guillemain. Bourges, France.
(english translation : Cecilia Cardoso Rodriguez et Yan St-Onge)