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Uploaded by : Jason W. Bunyan | 09/24/09

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  • Title:
    Sans Soleil
  • Artist:
    Chris Marker
  • Year:
  • Description:
    Excerpted from Henry Sheehan, Film Criticism and Commentary Originally appears in the October 9, 1985 edition of the Boston Phoenix, and reprinted an an anthology of the National Society of Film Critics, "Foreign Affairs," in 1991. "The images are of an award ceremony in a small African country. The president, a former freedom fighter, is decorating his ex-guerrilla comrades, who now make up the army's senior officer corps, and one general cries, as the medals are attached to his uniform. A voice on the soundtrack interrupts the subsequent moving embrace. The general, this voice tells us, is not crying out of sentiment; he's angry that he hasn't been raised higher than his brother officers. A year later, to rectify the error, he will overthrow his old friend, Luis Cabral of Guinea-Bissau, sending him into exile. The image is only partial; it requires the soundtrack to complete the circle of understanding. And that is part of the program of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil (1982), a fictional documentary that questions our ideas of appearance, memory, and history. Marker is not after glib solutions; he's not here just to state that appearances are deceiving. For the narrator of his own movie is a fictional newscaster reading letters from a cinematographer who doesn't exist. The images are real, the soundtrack is created. Each tells its own truth. A full transcript of the film is available here:
  • Disciplines and Movements:
    FILM, International Film and Experimental Film
  • Themes and Tags:
    no themes

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