Super 8 Years

Golden Eye
Cannes Film Festival
A bittersweet look at the passage of time, delivered with a compelling blend of personal intimacy and broader societal upheaval.


The Super 8 Years

One of France’s most respected contemporary writers, 2022 Nobel Prize laureate Annie Ernaux’s intimate and autobiographical body of work captures the inner lives of women alongside societal and cultural changes in France from the 1960s onwards. A natural extension of her literary work in its form and content, The Super 8 Years shows the pastimes, lifestyle and aspirations of a social class in post-1960s France through the lens of the Ernaux family archive.

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
Not Rated
Documentary, Culture Vulture, Women and Film
Annie Ernaux, David Ernaux-Briot
Annie Ernaux
Nominee, Golden Eye, Cannes Film Festival
Manohla Dargis, New York Times

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 ...

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