Prod.: Pathé Frères, 35mm. D.: 2′ a 19 f/s. Bn.
A short Pathé newsreel fragment showing the festivities in Paris on the occasion of the Armistice between the Allies and their last opponent, Germany. After four long years of war, the relief and joy on the faces of the Parisian people are palpable, and the effect on the viewer is hardly diminished a century later. The most beautiful shot on the reel shows ordinary people coming together to hold hands and dance in circles ‘ring a ring o’ roses’-style in the streets – an iconic and timeless happening which almost always occurs when ordinary people are given their lives back after a time of tyranny or terror. To call it a cliché, however, is to miss the point. This is the stuff of universal truth, and these scenes will continue to resonate and lift us up as long as there are humans around to watch them.