Sans Soleil

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

“The first image he told me about was of three children on a road in Iceland, in 1965. He said that for him it was the image of happiness and also that he had tried several times to link it to other images, but it never worked. He wrote me: one day I’ll have to put it all alone at the beginning of a film with a long piece of black leader; if they don’t see happiness in the picture, at least they’ll see the black.”

And so begins the legendary epistolary film that is Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil. While dispatches from Japan and Guinea-Bissau – written by a Sandor Krasna (an alter-ego for Marker himself) – are read aloud, this spellbinding travelogue-cum-philosophical inquiry traverses the nature of time, memory, and history. Tender recollections take us from a temple consecrated to cats to the lunar landscapes of Iceland, from the depths of psychedelic video art to the mysteries of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. With irrepressible curiosity and a tinge of melancholy, this is filmmaking that truly quickens the heart – screening on a gorgeous 35mm print.

Dir. Chris Marker, 1983, 35mm, 100 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!