What can i say about a film like Sans Soleil? The movie is truly mesmerizing and attacks the mind with rapid transitions that leave you either in a state of deep thought or utter disorientation. It is somewhat difficult to interpret the underlying meaning behind the visuals and images presented throughout the course of the film, which feels like an extensive montage of esoteric art, culture, and lifestyles. Although the film does portray minimal fictional content, as heard from a female narrator reciting the accounts of a ficitional character, Sandor Krasna, it should no be mistaken for a mockumentary; each scene is authentic and depicts residents of Ireland, France, West Africa, and Japan with a meloncholy tone hovering like a dark cloud over the entirety of Chris Marker’s work.
Overall, the movie is nothing short of poetry in motion but ultimately leaves to me to ponder, what exactly is the point of this film? Is there one? Is there meant to be one? The footage compiled has all the makings of a PBS special, yet through the silence several words and thoughts can be conveyed upon watching Sans Soleil, although multiple viewings are suggested to retain the innumerable amount of eerie clips and pictures present in the film. In conclusion, the 1983 French essay-film can leave some confused, others marveling at the enigmatic nature, and almost all left appreciating it for the inquiring mind of the writer insequential findings. “We do not remember, we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten. We remember first.”
1. Sans Soleil. Director Chris Marker. Argos Films, 1983. Netflix Instant.
2. Casabier, Allan. “A Deconstructive Documentary.” Journal of Film and Video, Vol. 40, No.1. Winter, 1998.