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Chris Marker, Paris, April 2006, 2006, black-and-white digital image. From the series “The Revenge of the Eye,” 2006.

FOR SIX DECADES Chris Marker has borne witness to the great social upheavals of his day, memorializing through film the legacies of the Russian Revolution and the Great War, World War II, the end of colonialism, Vietnam, and May ’68. No wonder, then, that he would take a longer view than many of the mass protests that roiled cities around France this past spring, when the conservative government of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin pushed through a spectacularly ill-advised First Employment Contract (CPE) designed to encourage firms to hire young workers by permitting employers to fire them without cause during an extended probationary period. After weeks of disruptive demonstrations and strikes, the CPE was definitively withdrawn in April, an apparent victory for the coalition of student protesters and labor unions. “Villepin,” Marker quipped, “managed to do something nobody

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