The Real Paris

The City v The People

Rival videos of Paris battle for the hearts and minds of tourists visiting the city

Challenged by the decreasing number of tourists coming to Paris, it has been the objective of the city Mayor to remind people why Paris is the must-visit, capital city of the world.

Various strategies have been adopted by City Hall, to communicate the best aspects of the city and this has included the release of a video entitled Paris Je t’aime. As you would expect, the video went viral, filling the news feeds of Paris Lovers far and wide. It portrayed all the elements of the capital that you would expect to see. Shot beautifully, it romanticised Paris and delivered a stunning tribute, that many people enjoyed and appreciated.

But not everyone had the same opinion. For some, it was a sanitised version of the real Paris and didn’t reflect the true pulsating vibe of the city. It did not depict parts of Parisian society that added to the appeal of the city, many argued.

Frustrated by the predictable and obvious perspective of the city featured in the video, distributed by the Mayors Office; two film-makers set about producing their own alternative version reflecting, in their opinion, the real city of Paris.

To accompany their Paris remake video, the two directors, Maxime Baudin and Leo Bigiaoui wrote a letter to Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of the City.

Dear Anne Hidalgo ,

Two weeks ago we discovered your video “Paris, I love you” broadcast to revive tourism in the capital. We’re a little sad. In 2 mins 30 sec, you show an image of the city that few Parisians can identify with. And what about for the tourists? Places and monuments that we see are known all around the globe. What good does it do to show it dozens of times? This narrow view of Paris disappointed us, Anne.

You want to make Paris a world city. As Parisians, we are proud of and buy into your vision. But how can you promote a vibrant city, open to the world omitting its richness and diversity? Paris is full of surprises, full of energy, in every neighbourhood!

We love our city and its people, and as Parisians, we have a right of reply. In our video, you will not see any actors, but only real Parisians in the street, in shops and all these places of life that make the magic of our capital. For three days we travelled up and down Paris, on bicycle, on foot and by subway.

Paris, it is not only the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Trocadero.It is also Barbès, La Chapelle and subway

Paris is not as foie gras and snails
It is also a good tagine and Phở!

Paris is all about the mix, diversity
Of course, Lafayette, La Fontaine and Hugo
But also M’Bassa Nguyen and Hidalgo

What do you think ?


Max & Leo

As you would expect. The second video, Paris, on t’aime aussi has also gone viral too with almost a million Facebook views – at the time of writing this post.

This alternative take on Paris life could not be more different to the short film produced by the local government office. Comparatively, it offers an intimate narrative of Paris, revealing the cultural mix glaringly missing from the Mayors offering. It’s youthful joyous tone comes through the smart direction of the two film-makers and it delivers a stark contrast to the Paris je t’aime video.

From an MLP perspective, Max and Leo’s point of view are clearly understood. In truth, many of us do pander to the obvious beauty of traditional Paris, but that’s not all that Paris is! Right before our eyes, amongst the many rues in the often ignored parts of the city – there is so much more to discover and celebrate. The city is enriched because of its diversity and that rarely appears to take centre stage, in the promotion of the city. This current duel between the Mayor and these two directors does beg the question as to why that is indeed the case.

So the city v the people! Who won in your opinion? Perhaps, as one of MLPs contributors, Jennifer Hamerman, pointed out, the winner is actually Paris – as there are two videos extolling the virtues of the city in different ways.

Which video do you think is a better reflection of Paris?

What do you think about this difference of opinion?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below – honestly, it would mean a lot to know what your take on this situation is.

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