Le Joli Mai
(Lovely May)

Screening on Film
Directed by Chris Marker.
With voiceover by Simone Signoret.
France, 1963, 16mm, color, 123 min.
French with English subtitles.

This grand-scale, beautifully photo-graphed study of Paris and its people during the month that marked the end of the Algerian War presents interviews with an assortment of citizens and then broadens out to consider the physical setting and political context in which they live. The film has been compared to Jean Rouch’s cinéma vérité classic, Chronicle of a Summer, made the year before. Marker begins and ends Le Joli Mai with meditative, poetic voiceover commentary as only he can write it, but otherwise yields to the sounds of Paris and the voices of a slum dweller, a merchant, an African student, an Algerian worker, a priest turned militant communist, and others. Winner of the International Critics’ Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

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