Both a major photographer and a key documentary-maker for cinema, there’s no one quite like Raymond Depardon. His five-decade career has seen him recording French history as it unfolds at home and abroad, and he has captured everything from moments of reflection to stories of injustice with his camera, influencing ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ director Paul Greengrass and others. Here, his partner and collaborator Claudine Nougaret offers a survey of his work via excerpts from his archive. In parallel, Depardon himself tootles around France in a van taking large-format pics of people and places representative of a traditional cultural identity that is slowly being lost to modernisation.
Clips of politician Giscard d’Estaing on the campaign trail, petty crooks proceeding through the Parisian justice system, Italian psychiatric patients and sub-Saharan sands are all compelling, while the latter-day work-in-progress interludes are pleasant but less striking. In its entirety, it’s a fascinating introduction to one of France’s major filmmakers, yet also a compilation that leaves you aware there’s so much more to see and know about this remarkable man.