Chronique d'un été  

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« Ce film n’a pas été joué par des acteurs, mais vécu par des hommes et des femmes qui ont donné des moments de leur existence à une expérience nouvelle de cinéma-vérité. » --incipit Chronique d'un été (1961), voice over by Jean Rouch


"This film was not played by actors, but lived by men and women who have given a few moments of their lives to a new experience of cinéma-vérité."

"Êtes-vous heureux?"--Chronique d'un été (1961)


"Are you happy?"

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Chronique d'un été ("Chronicle of a Summer") is a 1961 French documentary film shot during the summer of 1960 by sociologist Edgar Morin and anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch, with the technical and aesthetic collaboration of Québécois director-cameraman Michel Brault.

The film begins with a discussion between Rouch and Morin on whether or not it is possible to act sincerely in front of a camera. A cast of real-life individuals are then introduced and are led by the filmmakers to discuss topics on the themes of French society and happiness in the working class. At the end of the movie, the filmmakers show their subjects the compiled footage and have the subjects discuss the level of reality that they thought the movie obtained.

This feature was filmed in Paris and Saint-Tropez, France. Synchronized sound was used by Rouch using a 16 mm camera connected through pilottone with a prototype of Nagra III, a transistorized tape recorder with electronic speed control, developed by Stefan Kudelski.

It is also widely regarded as an experimental and structurally innovative film and an example of cinéma vérité and direct cinema. The term "cinema verite" was suggested by the film's publicist and coined by Rouch, highlighting a connection between film and its context, a fact Brault confirmed in an interview after a screening of Chronique d'un été at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto in 2011.

In a 2014 Sight and Sound poll, film critics voted Chronicle of a Summer the sixth best documentary film of all time.


All cast members appear as themselves.

  • Jean Rouch
  • Edgar Morin
  • Marceline Loridan-Ivens
  • Marilù Parolini (as Mary Lou)
  • Angelo
  • Jean-Pierre Sergent
  • Jean (worker)
  • Nadine Ballot (student)
  • Régis Debray (student)
  • Céline (student)
  • Jean-Marc (student)
  • Landry (student)
  • Raymond (student)
  • Jacques (office workers)
  • Simone (office workers)
  • Henri (artist)
  • Madi (artist)
  • Catherine (artist)
  • Sophie (One cover girl)
  • Véro (young girl, uncredited)
  • Maxie (Jacques' wife, uncredited)
  • Jacques Rivette (cameo, uncredited)

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Chronique d'un été" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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