THE MASS OF MEN (16', UK, 2012)

Screening: Su, 15 Dec., Elvira Popescu Cinema, 5:00pm

Amid economic and political tensions, the oppressed masses have no choice other than violent revolt. Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Short Film in Locarno, THE MASS OF MEN is inspired by the 2011 London protests, outbreaks of collective anger against the state of general apathy and disillusionment reigning the country. The story follows Richard, a 55 year old jobless man, whose late arrival for a meeting with his unemployment assistant has disastrous consequences for him. If initially, we are tempted, out of reflex, to harshly judge the protagonists, GAUCHET cleverly manages to change our view on the incident, challenging our very idea of morality. Placing the notions of good and evil under the magnifying glass of relativism, THE MASS OF MEN deals, at a deeper level, with the paradoxes of human nature, which break loose in crisis situations, with fear, cowardice, despair and anger.


With the support of:



Cast: Peter Faulkner, Jane McDowell, Dominic Kinnaird

Screenplay: Gabriel Gauchet, Rungano Nyoni

Cinematography: Nick Cooke

Editing: Alice Petit

Sound: Ania Przygoda

Producer: Emily Morgan

Production: National Film and Television School UK


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GABRIEL GAUCHET (b. 1978, France) is a London-based writer-director. After attending African Studies in Hamburg, Dakar and Cologne he turned to studying film directing, doing so from 2004 to 2010 at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. In 2010 he participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. A year later, he graduated at the National Film and Television School UK (NFTS). GAUCHET co-directed with Andrzej Krol the short film DIE KNEIPE, followed by EFECTO DOMINO, both rewarded at Clermont-Ferrand. His short film MWANSA THE GREAT was a 2012 nominee for the BAFTAs for Best Short Film.



Golden Leopard – Locarno International Film Festival 2012

Best Short Film – San Sebastián International Film Festival 2012

Grand Prix – Tampere International Short Film Festival 2013

Grand Jury Prize – Lille European Film Festival 2013

Grand Prix, Best Short – Tokyo Film Festival 2013

Oberhausen International Short Film Festival 2013

Critics’ Prize for Best Short and BDMA Prize for Best Short – Janela Recife 2012

IndieLisboa 2013

shown in over 40 film festivals, winner of more than 15 awards


“I am fascinated with the idea of violence because I’m afraid of it, and people’s reactions to violence are shocking to me. (…) Why are people evil? What drives them to become monsters? What did society do to them? (…) I had already thought of some ideas and images of revenge and violence to begin with, which I wanted to turn into a film. Me and my partner, we were fascinated by the London riots and we felt that they had something in common with the idea of our movie. We began watching YouTube videos of the events, in which we saw young people beating up other youths. It was like they had nothing left to lose. Then came Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech, which really shocked us. His answer to the riots was to treat these young people as animals, splitting society in two: on one side was the elite, those who had the right to judge and condemn others, and on the other, the people who couldn’t defend themselves anymore. When we heard this speech, my girlfriend, Rungano Nyoni, also a director, suggested we use the words of David Cameron in the script, give the lines to a social worker’s answer.  We felt that this would work really well, that it brings a certain something to the script, a certain strength.” (GABRIEL GAUCHET, FormatCourt interview)

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