by Adrian Penketh
In 2020, Charismatic National Front candidate, Vincent Ferré, stirs up dangerous social divisions as he campaigns to become the next Mayor of traditionally left-wing Grenoble. Can the city survive if he is elected?
Directed by Marc Beeby
Over the last ten years the Front National (FN) in France has seen its single-digit percentages skyrocket into the thirties. Talk of FN gains in the municipal elections is no longer speculative or hypothetical. In 2015 they came close to controlling several regions, and it was only a hastily-constructed coalition mounted by their opponents which prevented them from doing so. Yet the FN have never been in control of a significant metropolitan area.
Historically, Grenoble is instantly recognised as the cradle of the Resistance during the war, and has long enjoyed a reputation as being one of France's most liberal cities. The voters in the 2014 municipal elections crystalised this by handing a mandate to the Greens - the only major city to do so. It is a prosperous, multicultural city. But it contains turbulent southern districts and nationally infamous council estates which are home to a lot of disaffected - largely Muslim - families.
Politically, Grenoble is more than a 'city'; it is one of only 12 designated 'metropoles' in France, which means the city has incorporated the surrounding suburbs and placed almost half a million people under one administrative arm. If the FN were to take Grenoble or a town of comparable size it would be a political earthquake.
In 2020, Charismatic National Front candidate, Vincent Ferr退, stirs up dangerous social divisions as he campaigns to become the next Mayor of traditionally left-wing Grenoble. Can the city survive if he is elected?