Chronicle of a Summer

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Chronicle of a Summer
Chronique d'un été
Directed byJean Rouch and Edgar Morin
Produced byAnatole Dauman
Narrated byJean Rouch
CinematographyMichel Brault
Raoul Coutard
Roger Morillière
Jean-Jacques Tarbès
Edited byNéna Baratier
Françoise Collin
Jean Ravel
Music byPierre Barbaud
Release date
  • October 1961 (1961-10)
Running time
90 minutes

Chronicle of a Summer (French original title: Chronique d'un été) 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 is widely regarded as structurally innovative and an example of cinéma vérité and direct cinema. The term "cinéma vérité" 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 2011 screening of Chronique d'un été at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

In a 2014 Sight & Sound poll, film critics voted Chronicle of a Summer the sixth-best documentary film of all time.[1]


The film begins with Rouch and Morin discussing whether it is possible to act sincerely on camera. A cast of real-life individuals are then introduced and led by the filmmakers to discuss topics related to French society and working-class happiness. At the movie's end, the filmmakers show their subjects the footage and have them discuss the level of reality that they thought the movie achieved.


Chronicle of a Summer was filmed in Paris and Saint-Tropez, France. Rouch used synchronized sound, 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.


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, scene deleted)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Silent film tops documentary poll". BBC News. Retrieved 1 August 2014.

External links[edit]