Jacqueline Veuve

Cinéaste et ethnologue (1930-2013)

La mort du grand-père ou Le sommeil du juste (Jacqueline Veuve)

Death of the Grandfather or: the Sleep of the Just

La mort du grand-père ou Le sommeil du juste

Switzerland 1978. 16mm; Beta/VHS, colour, 87 min.

Image: La mort du grand-père ou Le sommeil du juste 


A tale, told by his five daughters, of the life and death of a man very representative of a Protestant Switzerland in the early 20th century where life was conditioned by the work ethic. He was first a farmer, then a factory worker, then the head of a small family affair where his daughters became his workers. The business grew into an large factory that would be eventually taken over by the only son. The five stories show us the family and professional context of the first half of the 20th century. They are also five different versions of the serene death of a man who felt he had done his duty. The film illustrates the ideas of Max Weber, known for their importance in understanding the Western civilization that emerged from the Reformation.

DirectorJacqueline Veuve
ScriptJacqueline Veuve
PhotographyWilly Rohrbach
SoundPierre-André Luthy
EditingEdwige Ochsenbein
CollaboratorsSupervision: Georg Janett
Duration87 min.
Format16mm; Beta/VHS, colour
Versionsfrançais; ST: english, deutsch
Sales DVD/VideoVHS  [order
Festivals/PrizesQuality award (Swiss Federal Office of Culture). Selected by FIPRESCI for Locarno Festival 1978. Festival Film de Femmes, Créteil 1979. Shown by Pro Helvetia abroad.
ProductionAquarius Film Production
World RightsAquarius Film Production
Distribution SwitzerlandAquarius Film Production, CH-1808 Les Monts-de-Corsier
Tél. +41 21 921 18 20 – Fax +41 21 921 78 31
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Distribution internationalFrance:
Visionnement: Bibliothèques publiques, cf. www.culture.gouv.fr
ReleaseSoleure 1978
LiteratureJ.Veuve, La Mort du Grand-Père. Lausanne 1983.

> Details, texts, documents (in french)

Press review

A compelling story woven around a single event: the death of a man. A good man or a small-time tyrant? A captain of industry or the head of a family? This unforgiving tale is also a tale of love. How canny, the grandfather who told each daughter in turn that she was the one he loved best ... But in the 1900s, one had to obey. A girl did not rebel. The best that came out of all this is that, one generation later, it has given us a producer. Both soft-spoken and daring. With a woman's insight and observation. Le Matin de Paris - Claire Clouzot If the film of Jacqueline Veuve seems both admirable and touching, it is in fact, for this reason: besides a fund of information of the building up of a family enterprise in a time of industrial liberalism, she has successfully shown or suggested the thousand ambiguous aspects of love, of family love. Cahiers du Cinéma - Jean-Paul Fargier

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