Michèle Rosier, as a director of creative documentaries for French television, filmed moving and intimate portraits of women. From 1976 to 1987, her eye delicately captured the rustle of daily life.

Les femmes réalisateurs / / interview with Agnès VARDA, Nina COMPANEEZ, Charlotte DUBREUIL and Michèle ROSIER (photo) in 1977
Click on the photo to see an interview with Michèle Rosier on Mai Zetterling.

In her 1977 portrait of Swedish filmmaker and actress Mai Zetterling, she filmed an encounter between two women: Mai Zetterling and Lucienne Grivot. In a garden in Sologne, amongst the birds, they each tell their story to the other. Lucienne Grivot talks about her youth, her life as a worker, her joy of living amongst birds. Mai talks about her life and the themes she chose to confront. They attend a screening of the film based on their conversation, “La Demoiselle aux oiseaux”, and witness the audience’s reactions.

In 1980, as part of Jean Frappat’s series “Grand-mères”, we discover the moving portrait of Mimi, a spry, 60-year-old grandmother, filmed by Michèle Rosier in her natural surroundings. She garrulously tells her story: her job as a teacher, her relationship with Thomas, the grandson she is raising, her wandering post-war life, her hobbies, her sickness… The director gives us a flourish of beautiful scenes from this young, calm and active grandmother’s life: the baking of a pie, her grandson playing next to her, her discussions with her daughter and a former teenage student, gardening with a colleague, a walk in the countryside.

In 1982, Michèle Rosier directed a documentary about a Parisian café of the Saint-Lazare train station neighbourhood, taking place over the course of one day, from opening to closing time: the morning’s very first customers, white coffee and croissants, the regulars, lunchtime rush hour with the neighbourhood’s employees, the students, the quick bite at the counter, the coffee, the laid back hour, the night’s drinks, the cleaning up of the tables, closing time. In voice-over, bartender Joseph ROBERT comments on life’s big and small events inside the café.

In 1978, Michèle Rosier had filmed the wedding of Soraya and Pascal Alvarez in Aubervilliers. Thirty-six years later, she wanted to see how the couple and the city of Aubervilliers had changed.

Aubervilliers, 2014. Michèle Rosier’s camera tracks Soraya through the streets of Aubervilliers and meanders among her memories. Archival footage and family photos accompany the filmmaker’s voice as she questions Soraya on her life as a woman, her family history, her love affairs and her loved ones.

The documentary “Souris, t’es heureux ce jour-là” was broadcast in 1980 on Antenne 2 and is described as such on the INA’s website: “Her name is Soraya Albarez, his Pascal Sammartin. For two years now, they’ve been living together as a “try-out”. Today is the big day, they’re getting married. Michèle ROSIER chose to follow them along de course of the day and to render its exact chronology, starting with the clean-up of their small apartment in La Courneuve in the morning and ending with the newlyweds arriving at their hotel. An extraordinary day, the description of a marriage and the portrait of two working-class families.”