Direct action is a tactical strategy of protest that seeks to achieve an end directly and by the most effective means. DIRECT ACTION is a contemporary portrait of one of the most high-profile militant activist communities in France: a 150-person strong rural collective that successfully resisted an international airport expansion project in 2018, created an autonomous zone between 2012 and 2018, survived multiple violent eviction attempts by the French state and spawned a new ecological movement in 2021.
Using a collaborative and immersive observational approach, the film documents the everyday lives of a diverse ecosystem of activists, squatters, anarchists, farmers and those labelled by the government as “eco-terrorists”. Can the success of a radical protest movement offer a path through the climate crisis?
by Guillaume Cailleau, Ben Russell Germany / France 2024 French, Moroccan Arabic, English 216’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


Directors Guillaume Cailleau, Ben Russell
Cinematography Ben Russell
Editing Guillaume Cailleau, Ben Russell
Sound Design Rob Walker, Nicolas Becker
Sound Bruno Auzet
Producer Guillaume Cailleau
Executive Producer Guillaume Cailleau
Co-Producer Michel Balagué

Produced by


Volte Film

Guillaume Cailleau

Born in 1978, the Berlin-based artist and filmmaker produces films with his own company CASKFILMS. His work explores new forms to address political and social issues. His films have screened at festivals including in Berlin, New York, Rotterdam and Edinburgh. His short film Laborat won a Silver Bear at the 2014 Berlinale.

Filmography (short films)

2009 H(i)J; short film · Through; co-director: Benjamin Krieg 2012 Austerity Measures; short film, co-director: Ben Russell 2014 Laborat; short film 2018 Wunderschein; short film 2021 A Kind of World War; co-director: Anselm Franke 2024 DIRECT ACTION; co-director: Ben Russell

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024

Ben Russell

The artist and filmmaker was born in the USA in 1976 and is currently based in Marseille, France. His works focus on the intersection between ethnography and psychedelia and has been presented around the world. He was an exhibiting artist at documenta 14 in 2017 and his work has already been shown at the Berlinale several times, most recently in 2018 with The Rare Event in Forum Expanded.

Filmography (selection)

2009 Let Each One Go Where He May 2010 Trypps #1-7 2011 Austerity Measures; short film, co-director: Guillaume Cailleau 2013 A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness; co-director: Ben Rivers 2016 He Who Eats Children 2017 Good Luck; documentary 2018 The Rare Event; co-director: Ben Rivers 2021 The Invisible Mountain 2024 DIRECT ACTION; co-director: Guillaume Cailleau

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024