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Chronicle of a Summer (1961)
"Chronique d'un été (Paris 1960)" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  20 October 1961 (France)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,282 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 24 critic

Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Angelo ...
Nadine Ballot ...
Herself (as Nadine)
Régis Debray ...
Himself (as Régis)
Jacques ...
Landry ...
Marceline Loridan Ivens ...
Herself (as Marceline)
Edgar Morin ...
Marilù Parolini ...
Herself (as Mary-Lou)
Jean Rouch ...
Jean-Pierre Sergent ...
Himself (as Jean-Pierre)
Sophie ...


Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. Later on, the individuals discuss the images created with their own words and see if the movie obtained their level of reality. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The key work of the controversial new school of CINEMA-VERITE




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Release Date:

20 October 1961 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Chronicle of a Summer: Paris, 1960  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the 15 favorite documentaries of cinematographer Roger Deakins. [2015] See more »


Referenced in Le bonheur c'est une chanson triste (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Cinéma vérité

By 1960 the documentary had evolved with new sound equipment and lighter cameras. In a direct line from the ideas of Flaherty and Vertov, Canadian filmmakers as Michel Brault had made significant shorts as "Les raquetteurs" (1959), while in the United States Robert Drew created his seminal work, "Primary" (1960.) All this activity helped the launching of "cinéma vérité" in France, with this film manifesto made by anthropologist Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin. With a "caméra vivant" (living camera) and the question "Are you happy?", they went out to the streets of Paris to make a survey, showing passages in the life of students, workers and migrants (including Joris Ivens' future wife), with a short escapade to the St. Tropez beach, and a final confrontation of the creators and subjects with the footage and the idea of constructing objective pieces of reality on film. Rouch and American Frederick Wiseman believed in a kind of documentary open to emotional spaces and fantasy (as opposed, for example, to Richard Leacock's more naturalistic approach), and eventually changed the tone of their works, while the movement finally identified with the concept of "direct cinéma", developed by Canadians and American filmmakers.

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