A very intriguing and interesting documentary, about an hour long, on Henri Langlois (1914-1977), the founder of the French cinematheque. It was directed by Edgardo Cozarinsky, an Argentine director usually of documentary films, who was then living in France.
The movie has a lot of great archival material (both of Langlois as well as directors and actors praising him), unexpected humor, as well as many poignant moments. Langlois was one of the first people in the world concerned with the preservation of films (in one of the funnier parts of the movie, an old ad is shown boasting how before the movement for movie preservation started, old movies were usually turned into shoe polish). Intriguingly, Cozarinsky speculates that Langlois' life long work was rooted in his desire to recover his lost childhood. You see, Cozarinsky explains, Langlois was born in Smyrna, who was at that time a part of the Ottoman Empire. During the First World War, Smyrna was captured by the Greeks, but in 1922 the Turks were able to occupy it again, not before burning it, and European families had to flee the city. Langlois was among them, a young child at the time, and he saw how all his possessions were lost in the fire. So in Cozarinsky somewhat psychoanalytical interpretation (how Argentine to do this) his work in film preservation was an attempt to recover his childhood. Narrated by Niels Arestrup.
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