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1,085 Ratings

Chronicle of a Summer

Chronique d'un été

Directed by Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
France, 1961


The film begins with a discussion between Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin on the possibilities to act sincerely in front of a camera. A cast of real life individuals are then introduced and led by the filmmakers to discuss topics on the themes of French society and happiness in the working class.

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Chronicle of a Summer Directed by Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
It’s an invigorating watch for the way it mixes philosophical-political probings (about representation, the Holocaust, the Algerian War, meaning itself) with a freewheeling style less landlocked than even its New Wave competition, thanks in part to Rouch’s handheld, sound-equipped prototype camera.
September 17, 2014
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To the degree that Rouch and Morin undermined their authority as filmmakers, Chronicle became a model for the collective films of ‘68 and of the American New Left. If Rouch and Morin’s experiment towers above those films, and also those of America’s Direct Cinema, it is because of the moral commitment of the filmmakers to their roles as group leaders—more empathetic, challenging, and intelligent than the fathers of our wildest, utopian dreams.
September 04, 2013
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It’s one of the greatest, most audacious, most original documentaries ever made, one that poses—and, what’s more, responds to—questions of cinematic form and moral engagement that underlie the very genre, the very idea of nonfiction film.
February 28, 2013
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