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Vivre IciSpace, Place and Experience in Contemporary French Documentary$
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Alison J. Murray Levine

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940414

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940414.001.0001

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(p.37) Chapter Two Planet
Vivre Ici

Alison J. Murray Levine

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines a cluster of high-budget French environmental documentaries that have brought unprecedented attention back to the wildlife genre by reinventing it. It pays particular attention to the films of Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou, as well as those of Jacques Perrin. It argues that these eco-docs depart from conventional notions of “wildlife cinema” in favor of an experiential documentary intention. They share with other films in the book a desire to displace and disturb the viewer, to invite her to co-habit an environmental space with the filmed subjects and share a multisensory experience alongside theirs. The work of Perrin and other French environmental filmmakers has made significant contributions to the development of an approach to nature film that relentlessly seeks innovative technical and narrative strategies to invite the viewer into an experiential relationship with nature, understood as a sense of connectedness between the viewer’s life-world and the world of the film. The chapter proposes close analysis of a few films and a consideration of their afterlives as cultural artifacts, intertwined with environmental discourses and practices in contemporary France.

Keywords:   Environmental documentary, Eco-doc, Nature cinema, Haptic, Green documentary

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