In 1986, Laurent Roth was able to finish his first longer work: Les yeux brûlés, a documentary about war photographers and cinematographers that honoured some of France’s then still-living greats, while also fathoming the complex relationship between film and armed combat since the inception of the cinematic art.

When Roth returned to the material of Les yeux brûlés for a portrait of Schoendoerffer, only the audio still existed – the images were lost. Roth took this in his stride and came up with a stunning solution: he used the complete audio, unedited, and severely slowed down the few existing shots of Schoendoerffer (and his interviewer, actress Mireille Perrier) to fit the sound, length-wise. By framing the interview with a brief preface on ruins and a coda dealing with the end of the Indochina Wars and the fate of captive soldiers, Pierre Schoendoerffer, la peine des hommes becomes an essay on frailty as the condition humaine.

International title
Pierre Schoendoerffer, Men and Sorrow
Filmmaker
Laurent Roth
Premiere
International premiere
Country
France
Year
2018
Medium
File
Length
58’
Language
French
Production Company
ECPAD
Sales
ECPAD
Writer
Laurent Roth
Editor
Gaël Rougeron