Jacqueline Veuve

Cinéaste et ethnologue (1930-2013)

C'était hier (Jacqueline Veuve)

C'�tait hier

C'était hier

Switzerland 2010. Digital Beta, colour, 90 min.

Image: C'était hier 


Lucens, in French-speaking Switzerland; summer of 1937. Spectators are lined up along the village streets waiting for the cyclists to pass through: the Tour de Suisse bicycle race.
Those who were children at the time recall the days, and as they tell their tales, their whole working class community comes back to my mind, for as a child I used to be a guest at the bourgeois house of my grandfather, who once owned a gemstone factory here.
Parallel to the stages of the 1937 Tour de Suisse run the personal histories of Blanche, Charlie-Rose, Violette, Pierre, René, and the others. Poverty and misfortune may have ruled many of their childhoods, yet they have retained the memory of brief moments of happiness, which they shared with each other. And while some of them were lucky enough to find work they loved, others had to brave the full hardships of a working class life, finding dignity in fighting for improved conditions and decent wages.
Both the shame and the sensitivity of these testimonies are highlighted by pictures found in hitherto overlooked archives. Along them we trace the lines of the disorders, the crises, and the progress of History through time.

DirectorJacqueline Veuve
ScriptJacqueline Veuve
PhotographyPeter Guyer, Stefan Bossert
SoundJürg Lempen, Jérôme Cuendet, Philippe Jacquet
EditingJanine Waeber
Duration90 min.
FormatDigital Beta, colour, 25 ips
VersionsFrançais; english subtitles, deutsch untertitelt
Festivals/PrizesFestival del film Locarno 2010
ProductionLes productions JMH SA (Florence Adam)
Distribution SwitzerlandJMH Distribution SA Neuchâtel
ReleaseFestival del film Locarno 2010

> Details, texts, documents (in french)

Press review

Jacqueline Veuve, a long-time collaborator of Jean Rouch's at the Museum of Man in Paris, is back on movie screens with a new film documenting a mini-moment in history. Using black and white photos, she recalls the 1937 passage of the Tour of Switzerland through Lucens, a small, poor village in Vaud. Through their memories of the festive day, the local children, now grandparents, bring back to life the world of the town's workers, who are mostly employed at the Reymond factory. The factory was founded by the director's grandfather, to whom she dedicated her first film "The Death of Grandfather: The Sleep of the Just in 1977. This new documentary takes viewers inside the social history of a town as well as inside the personal memory of Veuve, who often puts herself on-screen in her films in the style of Agnès Varda, whose tender, deceptively naive approach she shares. (BabooTime, October 2010)

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