A joint effort by the great (and recently deceased) French ethnographer-filmmaker Jean Rouch and the important French sociologist Edgar Morin (The Stars) yielded this remarkable 1961 documentary investigation into what Parisians—regarded as a “strange tribe”—were thinking and feeling during the summer of 1960, when the war in Algeria was still a hot issue (although many other issues are discussed as well, private as well as public). The filmmakers treat their interview subjects with respect and sensitivity, among them Marilu Parolini, a secretary at Cahiers du Cinema who later became a screenwriter for Jacques Rivette, and Marceline Loridan, a concentration camp survivor who later became the collaborator and companion of Joris Ivens. Rouch and Morin even screened their first interviews for the participants and then filmed their responses, catching the shifting emotional tenor of their lives over a certain period. A seminal work. In French with subtitles. 85 min.
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