Wednesday, October 12Truffaut Theater – 1:00 pm
(Screening ends at 2:35 pm)
+ Short Film Presentation: THE MIDWIFE


Presented in Association with:
Totem Films
Women in Film


West Coast Premiere | France | 2022 | Documentary | 62 min | In French with English subtitles

Directed by: Annie Ernaux, David Ernaux-Briot
Written by: Annie Ernaux
Produced by: David Thion, Philippe Martin (Les Films Pelléas)
Film Editing: Clément Pinteaux
Original Score: Florencia Di Concilio
Narrator: Annie Ernaux
International Sales: Totem Films  

Much like Andre Bonzel’s Flickering Ghosts of Loves Gone By, another documentary in this year’s line-up, The Super 8 Years revolves around the emotional power of home movies.  This time it’s the family memoir of accomplished French author Annie Ernaux.  It begins in 1972, when Annie and her husband, Philippe, purchase a Bell & Howell Super 8 movie camera.  It was a treasure more coveted than a dishwasher or color TV, she tells us, because film can capture life.  Given prevailing gender roles, it was automatically assumed that Philippe would operate the pricey equipment.  Like most amateur cameramen, his subject matter revolved around family holidays, birthdays and especially summer vacations.  Often a chronicle of shifting political and cultural thought in France over those years, Annie’s simple, often touching voice-over narration also reveals the poignant story of her own evolution as a writer and a woman — at first writing in secret, then publishing her first books, right through the dissolution of her marriage in 1981.  After their divorce, Philippe took the camera, leaving behind the projector and spools of film.  “Those snippets of family life invisibly recorded within the history of those times.  A fragment of a family autobiography.”  And an exquisite tale it is.

Winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in literature, Annie Ernaux is a major French writer of numerous highly autobiographical novels and memoirs, including Cleaned Out (1974); The Frozen Woman (1981);  A Man’s Place (1984), which won the prestigious Renaudot Prize; A Woman (1987); Shame (1998); Simple Passion (2003); and The Years (2008), which won the Prix Marguerite-Duras and the Prix François-Mauriac. She has also been honored with several awards for her entire body of work.  Four of her books have been adapted to the screen: Patrick-Mario Bernard’s and Pierre Trividic’s The Other One (2008), Sara Fgaier’s The Years (2018), Danielle Arbid’s Simple Passion (COLCOA 2021), and Audrey Diwan’s Happening (2021).  David Ernaux-Briot, son of Annie and Philippe Ernaux, began his career in science journalism, contributing to the TV series E=M6 and C’est pas Sorcier.  He wrote and directed the educational mini-series Théâtre des Machines, Corpus, Art et Sport for the Universcience and CANOPE platforms.  The Super 8 Years, their first documentary film, premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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