restricted access Declaration of the Group of Thirty (France, 1953)

While not only concerned with documentary films, a majority of the signatories of this manifesto were defending the French documentary tradition that had just had a recent resurgence that would only grow over the 1950s, with films as diverse as Alain Resnais’s Nuit et brouillard (1955), Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle’s Le monde du silence (1956), and Chris Marker’s Lettre de Sibérie (1957). The Group of Thirty became well known in France as defenders of the short film and ended up in a series of debates about their goals and tactics with other French filmmakers. Here they argue that the short film is the research lab of French filmmaking, where new ideas and concepts develop. In terms of this period of French cinema they are certainly not wrong.