Film, the Living Record of Our Memory

An effortlessly enjoyable treat for cinephiles…gives motion picture historians, restorers, and archivists their due and a place in the sun.


Film, the Living Record of Our Memory

Film, the Living Record of Our Memory is a documentary on the importance of film preservation by Inés Toharia, featuring appearances by cinematic luminaires including Costa-Gavras, Jonas Mekas, Patricio Guzmán, Ken Loach, Bill Morrison, Fernando Trueba, Win Wenders, Martin Scorsese, Barbara Rubin, Idrissa Ouédraogo, Ridley Scott, Ousmane Sembene and more.

Why preserve film in a world where audiovisual materials seem so readily available online? That is the key question posed in
Film, the Living Record of Our Memory, which features interviews with film archivists, curators, technicians, and filmmakers. Together they explore what film preservation is and why it is still so important to preserve celluloid, even in an increasingly digital world. Thanks to the tireless work of these film professionals, many of whom work unrecognized behind the scenes, we are still able to watch films that are more than 125 years old. This film pays tribute to their conviction that film holds our collective memory, and that access to film as it was meant to be seen may one day change a life. Film, The Living Record of Our Memory highlights the unique challenges of maintaining film, the cultural and political barriers to preservation, and the surprising risks of digital preservation. This work is critical because, as the film explains, so much of this heritage has already been lost forever.

“A vigorous, energizing account of those providing a valuable cinematic service.” – Sunil Chauhan, Eye for Film

“Reminds us that our cultural heritage is ever-vanishing and requires
constant care just to survive.” – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

"A dynamic look at what it takes and what it means to save movies from the dustbin... Invites us to consider the ways movies have become essential to the human experience." – Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“Gives these unsung heroes of the arthouse their due, establishing the high stakes of their mission and celebrating the small miracle that happens every time they rescue another title from the brink of extinction.” – Charles Bramesco, The Guardian
Not Rated
Documentary, Culture Vulture, Films & Filmmakers
English, French, Spanish, Catalan, Japanese, Arabic
Inés Toharia Terán
Inés Toharia Terán
Costa-Gavras, Jonas Mekas, Patricio Guzmán, Ken Loach, Wim Wenders
There are currently no showtimes for this film. Please check back soon.