This chapter considers three films by French documentary auteurs who late in their careers, chose to make road movies of sorts: Chris Marker’s Chats perchés/The Case of the Grinning Cat (2004); Agnès Varda’s Les Plages d’Agnès/The Beaches of Agnes (2008); and Claudine Nougaret and Raymond Depardon’s Journal de France (2012). It suggests that all three films share an experiential impulse, understood as an invitation to experience space in a mobile, exploratory mode, and the potential to unsettle, de-center, and displace the viewer. Instead of fulfilling the conventional authoritative role of documentary commentary that describes or explains, the narrative instance provides instead a multiple, fragmentary, and unstable narrative center, which comes into being through incomplete journeys with uncertain destinations.
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