The movie

La bataille du libre

Poster/Graphic design: Aurélien Quentin/Les Frères Quentin -
  • Genre: documentary
  • Production Co.: Temps Noir
  • Release date: 2019
  • Director: Philippe Borrel
  • Runtime: 87min
  • Language: french, lined and sub in english
  • Country: France
  • Soundtrack: Piers Faccini

Poster/Graphic design: Aurélien Quentin/Les Frères Quentin –


Nowadays, IT is at the heart of almost all human activity. Has it helped to make us more autonomous or has it transformed us into the passive consumers of a market which has become global? We are not even aware that, at the heart of technology, two rationales are now clashing: since the 80’s, the emancipatory principles of free software movements began to attack the exclusive and “private” ones defending intellectual property rights. Free software, free seeds, free medicines, free knowledge… Focusing on freedom, cooperation and sharing, these movements aim to restore the user’s autonomy and power, leading to a world free of patents, for the benefit of the common good.

About the director

Philippe Borrel was born in 1966. He graduated from the Journalists’ Training Centre (JRI) in 1990. With his “gonzo” approach, he has always chosen to dive into the environment of the issues dealt with in his films, almost all of them made for French public television, for long periods of time. He has written and directed ten documentaries since 2006, including “L’urgence de ralentir” (2014) and “A World Beyond Humans ?” (2012) for Arte or “Un monde sans fous ?” (2010) and “A Jobless World ?” (2017), “La bataille du Libre” (87mn) is the long version – intended for screening and debate – of “Internet ou la révolution du partage” (55mn) broadcast on Arte in May 2019.


The film develops with the interventions of several personalities including among others:

  • Kenneth Roelofsen (supplier of agricultural spare parts)
  • Richard Stallman (founder of the GNU project and president of the Free Software Foundation)
  • Hervé Le Crosnier (specialist in web and digital technologies)
  • Pierre-Yves Gosset (General Delegate of Framasoft)
  • Kwame Yamgnane (co-founder and director of School 42 in the United States)
  • Lucile Vareine (Mozilla Communication Manager)
  • Lionel Maurel (member of La Quadrature du Net)
  • Xavier Niel (vice-president of the Iliad group, creator of the School 42)
  • Vandana Shiva (ecologist, alternative Nobel Prize 1993)
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz (Nobel Prize in Economics 2001)
  • Olivier Maguet (lawyer, volunteer administrator at Médecins du monde)
  • Vidyashankar R. (doctoral student in biomedical genetics, researcher at the Transdisciplinary University)
  • Marc Bouché (organic seed multiplier)
  • Mick Minchow (farmer)
  • Benjamin Coriat (Professor of Economics, members of the Dismayed Economists)
  • Marcel Thébault (historical farmer of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes ZAD)

Non-exhaustive list, the complete list here.

To access the pitch of the film in order to know what it is about, and why it was created, it’s this way.


They talk about it …

List of all articles dedicated to the film here. !!! Attention articles available only in French !

Blog Emmabuntus

“Let it be in the health-care, the food, the stock market, the industrial, the education or even the agriculture fields, there is virtually no activity sector able to escape the software clutches : we depend on it now, in all the fields where knowledge is key.”

Le Drapeau Rouge

“ENFIN ! Enfin un documentaire qui peut toucher les cœurs et les pensées de nos proches –lesquels ont l’habitude de décrocher dès qu’on leur parle d’«informatique», de «code-source» ou d’«open space»…”


“Dans son documentaire, « Internet ou la révolution du partage » (la version longue s’intitule « La bataille du Libre »), Philippe Borrel part à la rencontre de figures anonymes ou de personnalités hors-normes de ce monde encore marginal du « Libre », et de ses opposants, en Inde, en France, en Suisse et aux États-Unis. “

Usbek & Rica

“…le mouvement du logiciel libre et sa philosophie dépassent le simple cadre du monde informatique pour proposer des solutions émancipatrices dans de nombreux domaines…”

Sens Critique

“On en a eu des films sur le libre, mais le tiens est très sûrement celui que je veux conseiller à plein de gens autour de moi pour leur faire sentir, leur faire comprendre, pourquoi cette thématique est importante.”

La Tribune

“Un éclairage fascinant sur la bataille que se livrent, aux quatre coins du monde, les multinationales, défenseurs d’un système capitaliste, et les partisans de l’open source, qui militent pour la société du partage.”