This article is the result of a deep research started two years ago, and was recently completed. What is more normal to give homage to this fabulous documentary of Michel Parbot on a French speaking website?
Why is that story so mysterious? Well, because it was broadcasted only once on TV, then it disappeared anonymously. It was time to rediscover it, to reveal again its existence and its contents. Let's start the story where it starts…
September 22nd, 1980 on FOX Television: the Americans were able to discover a documentary named "SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back," with a voice-over and it was dedicated to the special effects of the Empire Strikes Back, though it didn't contain that many interviews. On IMDb, it is referenced here and Michel Parbot is credited as the cameraman in the part Camera and Electrical Department. This documentary can be watched today, as it is part of the Saga's Extras on the Blu-Ray discs.
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Michel Parbot was a French journalist, "grand-reporter-cameraman", war correspondent and a director passionate with photography. One of his most famous actions was his cover of the 1983 Grenade Invasion by the US forces for Sygma TV, with a portable betacam camera. He co-funded Sygma TV with Hubert Henrotte in 1974. The name of Michel Parbot became famous because he was the only journalist present at Grenade despite the US interdiction.
Watch the documentary: