“Civil War”, by Mazarine Pingeot

Posted today at 5:00 p.m.

She is ten years old. Summer burns the heather of the Cévennes, which knows how to defend itself, camouflaged between pink and gray stones. Raphaël and Antonin, his brothers, quarrel Pato, the bastard puppy, half border collie, that their grandmother saved from the death programmed by the baker of the village, swearing, as with each litter, that he would have his dog sterilized -the trainee. Each of the two boys wants to become his master. But it is she, Mina, that he listens to. Escaping from the grasp of the brothers, the puppy runs up to her: « Come, we will make him discover the world! “ The four of them climb towards the valley, advancing in single file above the cliff. Arrived at the promontory, Mina grabs the dog and raises it as for a secret ceremony, a baptism where the promises of life are offered like a landscape, she feels the blood beating in the panicked body of the beast. It was at this precise moment that she said to herself: « Enjoy before it stops. » Mina brings the dog back to her chest and kisses it: ” Will you still be there? “ With their faces scorched by the sun and the alcohol they have secretly drunk, the three children descend into the cave even if it is forbidden. Under a rectangular stone, they bury their secret pact written in pencil on a piece of paper, signed and sealed with a drop of blood. Once back in the open air, they are greeted by the joy of the dog. Enjoy before it stops. Childhood is archived in the heart of stone.

Mina is twenty-three years old. His car is stopped in front of the barricades hastily erected and which smack of guerrilla tutoring. She looks for a way to get around them, walks along them for miles: the obstacle may be shaky, you can’t cross it. Behind, somewhere in the secure perimeter, Antonin hides in holes covered with leaves and branches. The assault is announced, imminent. In the camp opposite, Raphaël stands ready, dressed in his uniform, bulletproof vest, boots, protections, cocked rifle. It is the moment when the memory is inserted in her like the impact of a bullet: the Cévennes, the cave, the stone.

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Then it is a rain of mud and fire that the firefly screens record and duplicate in a crazy dance: the survivalists want to show the world what is happening on the border of “bare lands”. Nothing will be conceded any more. The “Civil War”, a real-time and participatory program! This is the radical concept welcomed by the group of channels which has resisted despite the political vagaries since it set up its headquarters in Moscow.

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