Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Sans Soleil (Sunless in English) is a 1983 film by French director Chris Marker. The title is from the song cycle Sunless by Modest Mussorgsky. Sans Soleil is a meditation on the nature of human memory and the inability to recall the context and nuances of memory and as a result, how the perception of personal and global histories are affected.

Stretching the genre of documentary, this experimental essay-film is a rich composition of thoughts, images and scenes, mainly from Japan and Guinea-Bissau, "two extreme poles of survival". Some other scenes were filmed in Iceland, Paris, and San Francisco. A female narrator reads from letters supposedly sent to her by the (fictitious) cameraman Sandor Krasna. Sans Soleil is often labelled as a documentary or travelogue, however it contains fictional elements and moves from one location to another without regard to a location or character-based narrative.

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