Machines in Flames (2022, 50min) finds a secret history of self-destruction by following the footsteps of a clandestine group of French computer workers from the 1980s.
The film was first distributed through a network of self-erasing USB data sticks dropped outside corporate campuses. This prompted warning emails from tech firms who feared the release of its secret history of computational self-destruction. They sought to contain its cinematic search for an elusive group - CLODO - that bombed computer companies in 1980s Toulouse, France.
Journeying through the cybernetic nodes of military, industrial, and socialist development, Machines in Flames exposes how recording devices fail to collect the ashes of history. It is unclear what made corporate security firms most anxious: the film’s fiery archival traces, its viral desktop choreography, the paranoid footage of nocturnal stakeouts, or its philosophical investigation of self-combustion?
Machines in Flames is the debut film of the Destructionist International, and the first in a series on the appetite for abolition in ultra-leftism.