Super 8 Years
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The Super 8 Years
The French writer, whose novels and memoirs have earned her a devoted following, opens a treasure trove with this delicate journey into her family’s memory, chronicling the period when her first books were published, her sons became teenagers, and her husband Philippe brought an 8mm film camera everywhere they went.
Compiled from gorgeously textured home movie images shot between 1972 and 1981, this portrait of a time, place, and moment of personal and political significance takes us from holidays and family rituals in suburban bourgeois France to trips abroad in Albania and Egypt, Spain and the USSR. Supplying her own introspective voiceover, Ernaux and her co-filmmaker, her son David, guide the viewer through fragments of a decade, diffuse and vivid in equal measure. The Super 8 Years is a remarkable visual extension of Ernaux’s ongoing literary project to make sense of the mysterious past and the unknowable future.
Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection: New York Film Festival
“An examination of youth, family, travel, and our place in the world… the film plays as one extended memory — sometimes more bitter, sometimes more sweet, always a combination of both.” – Michael Frank, THE FILM STAGE
“In re-viewing our super eight films, shot between 1972 and 1981, it occurred to me that they comprised not only a family archive but a testimony to the pastimes, lifestyle and aspirations of a social class in the decade after 1968. I wanted to incorporate these silent images into a story which combined the intimate with the social and with history, to convey the taste and colour of those years.” Annie Ernaux
The film’s images have faded, but the memories they’ve stirred up are vivid and full of feeling. In one shot, a tiny boy pushes a big wheelbarrow. In another, an old man and woman pose with the awkwardness of an earlier generation that never learned how to look at ease before any camera. And then ...