When on 11 November 1958 French film critic André Bazin died of leukaemia at the age of 40, he left behind a screenplay for an uncompleted project. Canadian filmmaker Pierre Hébert decided to make the film, using Bazin’s notes and the script, which was published in the one-hundredth issue of the renowned film journal Cahiers du Cinéma.
Bazin’s aim was to make a documentary about the Roman churches built between 1000 and 1200 in the former French province of Saintonge. Hébert filmed these churches – or the remnants of them – interspersing this footage with old photos or black-and-white animations created by Héberts himself. In voice-over, Actor Michael Lonsdale reads from the screenplay left by Bazin. The result – thanks in part to the atmospheric music – is a contemplative film about time passing, ruins, restoration and remembering versus forgetting: like the churches, memories are also subject to erosion. All that remains is fade to black.
The director of Bazin's Film Pierre Hébert presents this special screening. Check out his opening remarks here.