A Note from Paris


Everyone in Paris seems absolutely horrified, especially while the killers are still at large with their Kalishnikovs!  (Though here in Ivry Sur Seine it’s calm as usual: the only movement is the giant metal recycling machine and some closely watched trains.).

I just got off the phone with my sister-in-law, who lives in the 11th Arr. and they have two children. The four-year-old goes to school a few blocks away from where French Prime Minister Manuel Valls lives so there’s a certain amount of “security” on his block – as she says –  either that makes you feel safer or not!

There is a spontaneous gathering of journalists at the Place de la Republique going on now.

The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are household names here: Wolinsky, Cabu, Charb.

Even if you don’t read Charlie Hebdo you saw these artists on talk shows. And everyone listened to the late Bernard Mari on the economist’s talk show on national radio Friday mornings.

I know the street where the attack occurred: you couldn’t imagine a more nondescript street in Paris. It’s tiny. My partner Ermanno (a film editor) used to edit there and I used to get my still cameras repaired there.

I heard that the assassins knocked on the wrong door at first.

Elizabeth Lennard is a photographer and film-maker living in Paris. Her films include: The Stein Family: the Making of Modern Art and Edith Wharton: the Sense of Harmony. Her latest film is Alexander Cockburn: Beat the Devil.