Monday 30th of July, the French writer, photographer and filmmaker Chris Marker (1921) has passed away. He died one day after his 91st birthday. Marker cooperated on three films with Joris Ivens: Rotterdam-Europoort, …à Valparaiso and Loin de Vietnam that arose from the concept of Pour le Mistral and he once said: ‘Le Mystere Ivens’ or ‘How I learned to like Joris Ivens and stop worrying’. In 1963 Joris Ivens ensured recognition for Markers’ work as a member of the selection jury at the Leipzig documentary festival, by forcing the first price for his controversial film Le joli mai.

In the fifties and sixties Ivens and Marker belonged to the circle of leftish friends and activists. Later, when they got older, Ivens and Marker took distance from this restricted label ‘political filmmaker’ because to them, most important of all was the relation between art and history: The small histories in everybody lives, with a subjective memory and the big history of the oppressed and oppression. “What I’m passionate about is History, and politics interest me only insofar as it is the cross-section of History in the present.”

About the cooperation between Marker and Ivens and about the start of Loin de Vietnam:

André Stufkens: ‘Joris Ivens, wereldcineast’, p. 337, 351, 403.
Ian Mundell: ‘Far from Vietnam, the genesis of the collecive film Loin de Vietnam’, Ivens magazine #9, November 2003, p.25-27.
Click here for an article about the work and life of Chris Marker:

A new book about the work of Chris marker will be presented on the closing ceremony of the International Documentary Film Festival. For more information click here.


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