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dateOctober 12, 2023 timeThursday, 6:30pm–8:30pm EDT location Horace Mann Hall, Cowin Auditorium (Room 147), Teachers College
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Alliance Program
  • Department of History
  • European Institute
  • Institute of African Studies
  • Knapp Family Foundation
  • Villa Albertine
  • Columbia Maison Française
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Annie Ernaux looking over her shoulder on a boat with young sons

Documentary film screening followed by a discussion and Q&A with director David Ernaux-Briot and Thomas Dodman.

The Super 8 Years (Les Années Super 8) (2022) Documentary, 61 min

Film in French with English subtitles.

With her son David Ernaux-Briot, the French writer and 2022 Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux, whose novels and memoirs have gained her a devoted following, opens a treasure trove with this delicate journey into their family’s memory. Compiled from gorgeously textured home movie images from 1972 to 1981 – when her first books were published, her sons became teenagers, and her husband Philippe brought an 8mm film camera everywhere they went – this portrait of a time, place, and moment of personal and political significance takes us from holidays and family rituals in suburban bourgeois France to trips abroad in Albania and Egypt, Spain and the USSR. Supplying her own introspective voiceover, Ernaux and her co-filmmaker, her son David, guide the viewer through fragments of a decade, diffuse and vivid in equal measure. The Super 8 Years is a remarkable visual extension of Ernaux’s ongoing literary project to make sense of the mysterious past and the unknowable future.

Golden Eye Nominee, Cannes Film Festival 2022
Zurich Film Festival, Switzerland 2023
New York Film Festival 2022
Best Documentary Nominee, César Awards 2023
Best Documentary Nominee, Lumiere Awards 2023

Watch the trailer here.


David Ernaux-Briot, son of Annie and Philippe Ernaux, was born in 1968. He grew up in Annecy and Cergy-Pontoise. After studying science, he decided to focus on scientific journalism and contributed to specialized TV programs such as E=M6 and C’est pas Sorcier. He wrote and directed the mini-series Théâtre des Machines, Corpus, and Art et Sport for Universcience and CANOPE. The Super 8 Years is his first feature-length documentary. The author of some twenty works of fiction and memoirs, Annie Ernaux is considered by many to be France’s most important literary voice today.

Thomas Dodman is an Associate Professor in the Department of French at Columbia University and director of the History & Literature program at Columbia's Global Center in Paris. A historian of the long Nineteenth Century, he teaches and publishes on the history of emotions, medical humanities, and the oeuvre of Annie Ernaux.

This film is presented as part of the Columbia University Maison Française 2023 Film Festival, Across Generations: Unveiling the Past, Embracing the Present. The festival was curated by Shanny Peer, Fanny Guex, and Ilana Custos-Quatreville. The full festival program can be found HERE.