A chronicle of a protestant family in early 20th century Switzerland this intriguing film centeres on the figure of the patriarch whose Protestant ethic of renunciation and diligence at work is reconstructed by the narratives of his daughters. Maybe it lacks the caesuras of the avant-garde French documentary, but, overall, it is an authentic piece that raises important issues on memory, history and biography. Good.
PC. An exemplary film in its use of direct and subsequently off sound, without excessive or overused music. A Rouch's collaborator, this film is, however, more closer to a narrative Marker, with the recurrence of a memory that evokes spaces, times and different and concomitant characters. Interesting the idea that a dead character can be represented by/is a succession of still images with her own voice.
Such fondness for someone who used them as child slave labourers definitely puts things into perspective. Just like the grandfather's work ethic, this film's steady, slow, unwavering commitment to its central subject can be labouring and intense at times - but it pays off.