Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 90 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 27 May 2013
Cat No: BFIB1167
Screen ratio 1:Other
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Chronicle of a Summer
Documentary about Parisians in the summer of 1960. Sociologist Edgar Morin and anthropologist Jean Rouch interview a selection of young... Read More
One of the most influential documentaries ever made, Chronicle of a Summer put the term ‘cinéma-vérité’ on the map and triggered debates about notions of ‘truth’ in documentary filmmaking that remain all too valid today. In fact, one of the many fascinating things about this study of the lives and opinions of several inhabitants of Paris and Saint-Tropez in the summer of 1960 is the filmmakers’ scrupulous honesty - ethnographer Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin often appear on camera in order to discuss their aims with their subjects, and to show them the edited footage at the end to canvass their opinion about whether they were portrayed fairly (the results, perhaps not surprisingly, are inconclusive).
Along the way, there’s a vox-pop survey about what constitutes happiness, detailed conversations about hot-button issues such as immigration, mental illness, the still-ongoing Algerian War and the legacy of WWII (sufficiently recent for a Holocaust survivor to still be a young and attractive woman), and the challenges of day-to-day living in a rapidly changing world.