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6 August 2009updated 27 Sep 2015 4:07am

War and philosophy

Francis Jeanson, 1922-2009

By Jonathan Derbyshire

A left-wing philosopher considerably less well-known in this country than Jerry Cohen also died this weekend: Francis Jeanson, who collaborated with Sartre in the 1950s on the journal Les Temps Modernes, was described by Le Nouvel Observateur as “le philosophe de la guerre d’Algérie”, because the work for which he will be remembered in France was as much practical and political as it was intellectual.

In the late ’50s, Jeanson created a support and supply network for militants of the Algerian liberation movement, the FLN, operating in mainland France. He was arrested in 1960, shortly after publication of his book Notre Guerre, and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was released early, in 1966, and the following year appeared in Jean-Luc Godard’s film La Chinoise.

In this scene, he discusses politics and philosophy with Véronique, animatrice of a Maoist student cell, played by Anne Wiazemsky:

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