Chronicle of a Summer View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Jean Rouch Edgar Morin

Produced: 1961

Countries & Regions: France

DVD+Blu-ray Details

Certificate: U

Studio: British Film Institute

Length: 90 mins

Format: DVD+Blu-ray

Region: Region 2

Released: 27 May 2013

Cat No: BFIB1167

Extras:
Languages(s): French
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Scene Access
Screen ratio 1:Other
Mono

Moviemail Details

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Chronicle of a Summer

DVD+Blu-ray
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Documentary about Parisians in the summer of 1960. Sociologist Edgar Morin and anthropologist Jean Rouch interview a selection of young... Read More

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Documentary about Parisians in the summer of 1960. Sociologist Edgar Morin and anthropologist Jean Rouch interview a selection of young Parisian adults to obtain their views on a number of societal and philosophical issues including happiness and the working class, and encourage debate amongst their peers. As an epilogue, the film-makers invite all the participants to a special screening and record their reactions as they watch the often unflattering portraits of themselves. They are then asked to voice their opinion on the level of truth they believe the film achieved.

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.

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