Chronicle of a Summer

Chronicle of a Summer

January 24, 2024
The first film of cinéma vérité.

Details About the Film

This film is part of the series Passport: Scenes From the French New Wave

Chronicle of a Summer changed the landscape of documentary filmmaking with its original concept of cinéma-vérité, where the presence of the camera is instrumental in revealing truth from the subject. In 1960 Paris, ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin, with the aid of two young women, traverse the streets asking passersby “Are you happy?” This simple question is the start of a foray into the sociopolitical concerns of the time — the Algerian War, decolonization, legacies of the Holocaust, the rights of workers, and modernization. Rouch and Morin assemble a cast of everyday Parisians to discuss these pressing issues on camera and to watch and reflect on their individual “scenes” collectively. Chronicle of a Summer is a stand-out example of the French New Wave commitment to revealing the structures of filmmaking.

Director(s): Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin
Starring: Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Nadine Ballot, Marilù Parolini, Jean-Pierre Sergent
Year Released: 1961
Runtime: 90 minutes
Country: France
Language(s): French with English subtitles
Accessibility Options: ListenTech (Hearing Impaired / Personal Amplified Audio Receiver w/optional T-Coil loop)