With Tremor. Es ist immer Krieg (FID 2017), Annik Leroy hammered the point home – even caught up in the 20th century and its destructive forces, “Man does not cry, he fights”. In this film, co-written with Julie Morel, we find the same power and energy intact and deployed in two stages. First of all, four portraits in which we learn that practising art or thought has enabled each of the subjects to live through and confront the traumas born of social violence. For one of them it’s voluntary exile and survival thanks to the inner strength brought about by singing, for another, it’s retreating from the world and into writing. And for each of them, a unique path. Annik Leroy and Julie Morel set these four filmed accounts against the works of Hannah Arendt, her thinking inspired by and shot through with her own experiences, theoretical texts like letters to close friends, taken together as aspects of the same journey. This thinking as an active force is then relayed and embodied by the powerful and determined presence of Claire Vivianne Sobottke, dancer, choreographer and performer. Pacing across a house, appropriating her own body, breaths and gestures are forcefully brought to life by this body in action, by her presence full of restrained intensity. The grainy 16mm intensifies and magnifies the space, bodies and faces. La Force Diagonale is a vibrant hymn of admiration for the philosopher, as well as for all those who possess the same strength as hers, the vital force of thought born of adversity.