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Chronicle of a Summer
Directed by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin • 1961 • France
Few films can claim as much influence on the course of cinema history as CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER. The fascinating result of a collaboration between filmmaker-anthropologist Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin, this vanguard work of what Morin termed cinéma- vérité is a brilliantly conceived and realized sociopolitical diagnosis of the early sixties in France. Simply by interviewing a group of Paris residents in the summer of 1960—beginning with the provocative and eternal question “Are you happy?” and expanding to political issues, including the ongoing Algerian War—Rouch and Morin reveal the hopes and dreams of a wide array of people, from artists to factory workers, from an Italian émigré to an African student. CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER’s penetrative approach gives us a document of a time and place with extraordinary emotional depth.