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Périot's rhetoric is generally clear, if not always reassuring. Most of the pieces I've watched deal with the weight of traumatic historical episodes: 200,000 Phantoms considers the bombing of Hiroshima, and Even If She Had Been a Criminal (2006) condenses the Nazi occupation of France into a head-spinning three-minute history before slowing down to present the postwar humiliation of French women accused of sleeping with Nazi officials. Yet Périot often juxtaposes images of tyrannical behavior with images of collective resistance, suggesting his belief in a more peaceful society.
Tomorrow's program takes its name from Périot's 2004 short We Are Winning, Don't Forget, which begins as a slideshow of smiling individuals, then segues into images of small groups, then large ones, and finally political protests. Scored to an excerpt of a Godspeed You! Black Emperor track, We Are Winning uses the accumulation of images to convey the formation of political movements. It's a stirring piece of filmmaking, though characteristically ambivalent in its message. Instead of concluding with images of peaceful protest, it culminates with shots of protesters being beaten by police—calling into question who the "we" of the title are supposed to be.
If you can't make it to Columbia College tomorrow, the program screens again on Saturday night, sans Périot, at the Chicago Filmmakers building in Andersonville.