Documentary about Paris and the attitudes of Parisians at the height of the Algerian crisis during May 1962, the first springtime of peace after the ceasefire with Algeria and the first time in 23 years that France was not involved in any war.
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2013 restoration Marker and Lhomme present an important capture of Paris 1962 by revealing the common man in a rare moment of peace; his worries; his prejudices; his hopes; his quest for happiness. Marker's subjects are most often fascinating as are the questions he asks steering the conversation but never dominating it. Modern documentarists would be well to study this one.
The people targeted by Marker's camera are so compelling. At three hours, the documentary meanders occasionally, but the importance of this restoration cannot be overstated considering the historic relevance of the moment captured here.
C'est magnifique. The interviews were amazing, particularly the young African man. He had problems with an imperialist power that are rabid nationalists and choose to brainwash and oppress others. Ahem, USA. Great jazz at 1:18. My favorite comment was by the guy who didn't want to see 'Last Year at Marienbad'. "Why fork out money to figure things out?"
"Paris has more pupils than schools, more patients than hospitals, more painters than art-lovers, more cars than streets. Dissect this mass into faces and see the orginal cell emerge: loneliness. As long as poverty exists, you're not rich. As long as despair exists, you're not happy. As long as prisons exist, you're not free."
An energetic documentary weaves a portrait of Paris, the nerve center of French consciousness, at a moment of historical inflation— tied up like a balloon, beautiful, hovering, vulnerable, stressed. The film's thematic "twist," provided in the concluding narration, give a thorn for the viewer to pick at, and I found it a really special film.