Gabor (2021) - full transcript

A 94 year old photographer, who began his career in Canada after emigrating from Hungary in 1956, continues to take pictures of everyday life.

foodval.com - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
---
Kim, the Gaspé International
Photo Festival

is presenting segments
from the documentary GABOR,

which is currently being made...

Yes, it features Gabor Szilasi,

a Canadian photographer
originally from Hungary

who contributed to developing
Quebecois photography

with his many portraits
of the province's residents.

He's also important to
the Gaspé Photography Festival,

as he was awarded the festival's
first artist residency.

We're on the line
with the two people involved:

Joannie Lafrenière
and Gabor Szilasi, hello!



-Hello.
-Hello.

Ms. Lafrenière, first of all,

tell me about how you met
the photographer Gabor Szilasi.

Well, I was familiar
with his work, of course,

and then I had the great luck
to meet him in 2015 at the festival.

I thought: "Wow, he's even
more wonderful than I thought."

Mr. Szilasi, tell us about

your first encounter
with Joannie Lafrenière.

It was in 2015, here at
the Gaspé Photography Festival.

Joannie was giving a presentation.

We started to talk.

Back in Montreal, she called
and asked me if I'd be interested

in making a film
about my life and my work.

I thought she seemed really nice,



she had a great sense of humour,
which I have as well.

I thought about it for a day,
then I said, "Sure, let's do it."

Before heading off
on an adventure

that will take us from Montreal
to Budapest

while passing through
many rural lands,

there's something
you should know:

it was through photography that
Gabor and I connected, years ago.

The first time I saw his photos,
it all became clear to me:

I was going to be a photographer,
just like Gabor.

His images contained everything
that I liked about photography.

In every one of Gabor's shots,

all his goodness,
his humanity,

his poetry and his humour
shone through.

It was then, with my mind
full of Gabor's photos,

that I realized I'd found it.

The thing I wanted
to do when I grew up.

Seasons went by and, like Gabor,
inspiring projects brought me

on the road
to meet people

carrying inside me
the precious legacy of his work.

Inspired by a desire to get to know
the man behind the camera,

I gathered up my courage

and I asked Gabor
if he would be willing

to become a tour guide
of his own life.

And that's how
this great adventure began.

Should it be horizontal or vertical?
Yeah?

I don't think
I can give you lessons!

For me photography was always

a great way to approach people.

To ask questions.

Sometimes indiscreet ones.

But I've heard
there are no indiscreet questions,

only indiscreet answers!

The camera was an excuse.

Because

I really like people.

I love people, actually.

And I think that comes through
in some of the photos.

I was really interested
in ordinary people,

people who had something to say
in their expression,

their way of life, their attire.

That's what I was
mainly interested in.

I was raised in a big city,
in Budapest.

I didn't really know any farmers
or country folk.

It was here in Quebec,
at the Quebec Film Board

where I worked for 12 years

that they sent me out
to the country to report

for the Minister of Agriculture
or of Transport

or in the schools.

That's where I discovered
the farmers,

the rural folk.

And for me, it was something new.

I really liked these people.

When I started photographing
in Montreal,

but also in rural areas,

I worked with what's called
a large format camera, a 4x5.

I would set up the photo

and people would come out.

Or they would stop me in the street
to ask questions.

"Will this house be
demolished or something?"

I said, "No, I like this house

and I want to take
pictures of it."

And people would be really proud
that a real photographer,

a professional one,

had come to their village.

-Thanks!
-Thank you. See you, Sylvain.

-Hello?
-Yes, hello sir.

-A poutine, please.
-What size? Small, medium?

Small.

-To eat here?
-Yes.

One small to eat here.

How long have you been here?

-It's been 26 years.
-26 years?

Yup.

Looks great.

-Here you are, bon appétit.
-Thanks, super.

I have all the photos
that I took here in Charlevoix.

Look, Jean-Marc.

I'll call back.

I went up to the same spot

and you can't see the graveyard
because the trees have grown.

Yes, yes.

So you can't see any of this.

This little house,
is it still there?

Yes, it's still there.
It's the old parish hall.

-Oh yeah?
-It's still there.

A man bought it
and he lives there now.

He's not from around here.

-But the trees are in the way now.
-Yes, it has changed.

You said this was in 1970?
-Yes.

-That is our house there.
-Oh yes?

That's Pascal
from the bakery.

This is the Laurentides Hotel,
but I think it's gone now.

-No, it's gone.
-The building is still there?

It's still there,

but now it's the Saint-Gilles
paper-making shop.

But wasn't Saint-Gilles paper
here before?

Yeah, but they moved there
or right nearby, I think.

This is in front of the church
after Vespers.

That's when I took this photo of
Marie Pedneault and Laura Harvey.

Hey, that's my godfather,
Adrien Bolduc!

Yes.

So you knew him.

He was my uncle.
Married to my mom's sister.

-That was at the stock-car races.
-Oh yes!

That's all gone now.

Luc Simard, Édouard Guay
and Joseph Lajoie.

Luc Simard,
that's Léonard's brother.

Marie-Noëlle's husband,
the vet, that's his brother.

Those are nice souvenirs.

Great photos.

-You're Gabor...?
-Szilasi.

When you came here,
you were 30 years old?

No I was...
Wait a sec.

When I came,
I would have been

35 years old,
maybe even 40.

I worked at the Quebec Film Board.

But where do you come from
originally?

From Budapest, in Hungary.

I'm Hungarian by birth.

-When did you come to Canada?
-I was 29.

You were 29,
so you were finished your studies?

Well, no. I had started
studying medicine.

It's a long story.

I wanted to get out
in 1949,

but the communists caught us
at the border.

So I couldn't go back to school.

I worked in construction,
building the Budapest metro.

And then I started taking photos

and taking French classes
at Alliance Française.

But in French and in every
other language I speak,

I have an accent.

It's good.
We understand you very well.

Can I take your photo?

We'll say yes,

but I don't make very nice photos!

If they aren't beautiful,
it's the photographer's fault.

-You'll get a nice shot.
-Yes.

My face is highly sought after.
It's one of a kind!

I'll take another one.

Thanks.

Super, thanks!

-Here?
-Here.

Alright, let's get arranged.

Big smiles!

Perfect. Thanks.

Nice photo.

Let me put it in a bag for you.

-A souvenir from Isle-aux-Coudres.
-Thank you!

-It was so nice to meet you.
-For me as well!

I'd heard of you before,
but we'd never met.

It's Bagor?

-Your first name?
-Gabor.

It's Gabriel in French.

For us, the word "gabord"
means part of a ship.

The part at the front
is called a "gabord".

Oh yeah?

-G-A-B-O-R.
-Yeah, it's not spelled the same.

-Before, Gabor!
-Yeah, before Gabor.

Before there was Gabor.

Let me get you a bag.

-He wants to give you that gift.
-Great, I'm happy!

Come closer.

Should we sit?

Did you start the self-timer?

No.

-I'll take this off.
-It's nice like that.

I brought out all the photos
you took in 2010.

That's great.

I'll never forget how one lady,
when she saw herself in the shot,

she said,
"I'm going to pee my pants!"

She said, "I never thought
I'd be in a museum."

As though it was a museum!

But she had quite a reaction.

-I'll never forget that.
-Yeah.

This guy is dead now?

Yes, that's what I was saying.

-This is mom.
-Yes, your mother.

This woman is dead now
but the man is still around.

Renée is still around,
and still our president.

These people,
are they dead?

He died last week.
We buried him on Monday.

Monday or Tuesday
of last week.

This is my aunt,
my dad's sister.

She's moved
into an old folks home.

And this is Renée, you and...

Amazing memory!

She was the mayor
at the time, Jovette.

-Post office?
-Yes, bravo!

-And it's still the post office?
-Yes, still.

I think she knew
that she had nice legs.

Oh yes!

-And this was at the factory.
-That's right.

All these photos
are like a piece of our history.

I can say, "These people are gone,
these ones came back."

And they're completely
in their own world.

These photos have a lot to say.

-Have the prices changed?
-Probably!

Hot chicken sandwich,

BBQ thigh, yes, fajitas.

Oh, fajitas!

-These are the Bernatchez.
-Yes, the whole family.

This barn was blown down
one windy day.

But it was a very old barn.

-And they're still not married?
-Still.

Nothing has changed.

My husband.

-The boys.
-That's right.

I was so warmly accepted
thanks to you.

The people
were very welcoming.

No one refused
to have their portrait taken.

It was a pleasure for us,
people still talk about it.

-Hello sir.
-Hello ma'am.

My name is Gabor Szilasi
and I have a reservation.

Can you sign this, please?

Percé Rock is made of limestone,

a sedimentary rock deposited
at the bottom of a warm, shallow sea

around 400 million years ago.

That's why it contains
so many fossils,

bearing witness to the abundance
of life at the time.

The rock is being eroded
by waves and storms.

Its cliffs are very unstable

due to the wind, rain,
freezing and thawing and the salt,

which makes them
very dangerous to climb.

You're from this island?

No, from Chandler.

Do you have a big family?
Children and grandchildren?

I had two daughters and a son.

Now I just have one son
and one daughter.

And I have four grandchildren.

Oh yeah?
And they live in the area?

My son lives in Gaspé

and my daughter in New Brunswick.

My daughter has two girls
and my son has two boys.

So I have four reasons
to be happy.

I've been on the sea
since I was seven.

So I decided to get certified
to become a captain.

It was a good decision.

I'm composing a piece

about the Saint Lawrence River
for symphony orchestra.

It's called Moliantegok.
It means "great river".

This is beautiful!

Superb.

That's beautiful.

And you stop the vibration
with the pedal?

Like a piano.

I have an autograph collection
that I bought after the war

from a music collector
and a music lover.

I have Dohnányi, Kodály, Bartók...

I have Richard Strauss, Puccini.

All the musicians who had come
to Budapest in the 20s and 30s.

That's amazing.

And singers, too.

I heard an anecdote
about Richard Strauss.

He was in his house
during World War Two

and a soldier showed up,
he was "cleaning things up",

and Richard Strauss was very old,

but the woman
who took care of him said,

"Don't kill him,
he's Richard Strauss!"

And the end of the story was:

"Thank God that the soldier
knew his music!"

-Nice, eh?
-Yes, that's nice.

-This is Bach arranged by Reger.
-Oh yes.

So beautiful.

But you have to sit
and listen.

You sit here,
and look outside.

They play it well, eh?

-The great Johann Sebastian Bach.
-Yes.

I call him the father
of all musicians.

We should go out on the balcony
if you want to get good shots.

Yes, okay.

I met Doreen, my wife, in 1959.

I came from Quebec City,
where I'd lived

for two or three years,

and Doreen was coming from Mexico,
from San Miguel de Allende,

where she was studying painting.

I got her phone number.

So I called Doreen
and it worked.

Growing up,
my picture was taken all the time.

There was no difference
between taking a photo

or having a family photo session.

He was never without
his camera.

And I grew up
with art everywhere.

I'd have my macramé project
on the table.

I'd be painting or making photograms
with my dad in the darkroom.

I'd have all sorts of projects
all over the house.

My mom was making prints
in the basement,

my dad was in the darkroom.

It was dirty, with water everywhere
and paint and papier mâché.

It was very physical.

My childhood was very sensory,

in that it incorporated
all the human senses.

We're a small family,
I'm an only child.

But I never felt that way,
I never felt alone.

I always felt generosity,
and lots of life.

We were always laughing.

Just creativity and love.

I feel really lucky.

Once when I was a teen,
he was teaching at the university.

I had problems

with a friend, a boyfriend,

and other problems
that I can't even remember anymore

but I went to his office
at the university

and I started talking
about my problems.

He looked at me and he listened,

and he didn't say anything
other than:

"Sit down here
and turn to face the window."

And then he took my photo.

We didn't really talk
more than that.

I've always felt really close
to my dad.

Almost like we didn't have to talk
to understand each other.

I think we've always been quite
sensitive to each other's emotions.

How he feels
is very important to me.

I feel really close to him.

I'm always worried about him.

I always want him
to drive less,

or to go out less,
especially at night.

I'm always scared
that he'll slip on the ice

or fall on the sidewalk.

Because that has happened
several times.

But what's extraordinary
about my dad

is that, like a child,
he won't start being afraid.

He'll just keep going.

My dad,

he never stops.

He's funny.

But he's not "ha-ha" funny,
he's funny in a subtle way.

And his humour, I think,
is the humour of Central Europe.

I can recognize it in my family,
in my surroundings,

in the literature,
from the atmosphere.

So it's very familiar.

The tie is by Henry Saxe.

If you don't like it,
I'll give you another one.

I love it.
It's me in 20 years.

This one.

I arrived in the summer of 1971.

There was an exhibition,
and we got there,

and Peter introduced me
to Gabor and Doreen.

They were the first artists
I'd met here in Canada.

For me, it was sort of reassuring,

because I didn't know anyone here
other than Peter and his parents.

Knowing that Gabor came
from Hungary,

he was like me, in a way.

So it reassured me a little.

I'd met people who came
from my part of the world,

so I could get my bearings.

And from there, we slowly
and gradually become friends.

And when you have that kind
of connection or friendship,

you can say that you're home.

I remember when he told me,

"I want to take
your portrait."

I said,
"Sure, whenever you want."

So then he came over,
and he just started taking pictures.

He sent me the contact sheet,
saying that he wanted to enlarge one

and he asked me to choose
the one I liked best.

I said no.
No way!

"You choose! It's your art.
I can't tell you what to do."

So he chose this photo,
which is now in my house.

When I saw it, I said,
"That's an extraordinary portrait."

It could be of anyone...
Well, not anyone, I guess.

But I don't have the impression
that it's my own portrait.

It's an excellent portrait.

Cheers!

Tell them that if they're alive...

If you are all alive,
you're invited to my 100th...

-Here!
-At the same place!

At the arena!

I started taking pictures

at art exhibition launches
in the late 1950s.

Until 1980.

When I started,
there weren't many of them.

Maybe one or two per month
in a few galleries.

And it was mostly
thanks to Doreen, my wife,

who introduced me
to her artist friends,

because she was also an artist.

So the museum decided
to publish a book of 100 photos

with texts.

It's going to be a beautiful book.

Maybe it will be my last project,

a book that documents
these events

that were so important
in my life.

So I'm excited
to see the book.

What a handsome guy!

You think I took this picture
because of her butt?

I really liked developing film,

seeing the image slowly appear
on the paper.

It's still like magic for me.

And then making a contact sheet,
choosing photos from it,

marking the best ones.

I see great photos
from back then

that I had initially ignored.

I mean, of course I'd seen it,

but it didn't speak to me
back then.

So I don't know
if this is about nostalgia,

or simply that my interest
in photographic images has changed.

I don't try to explain.

It's part of reality.
We all change.

We have to accept change.

So will you accept...

You told me last week you had
some problems with your eyes.

Do you think that one day,
you'll stop taking photos?

No.

I have a disease
that may lead to...

How do you say "blindness"?

Aveugle.

Devenir aveugle.

Yes, I may go blind.

But with the vitamins I'm taking

and the glasses I wear,
it's not a problem.

No, my eyes are quite all right.

I mostly just have vision problems
when I read.

It's true that my eyes get tired.

Or I fall asleep.

But for taking photos,
I'm just fine.

It will be fantastic, Gabor.

It will be fantastic.
We're looking forward to seeing you.

-Fantastic?
-Fantastic.

-And you're here too!
-I'm happy to see your place.

It's true, you've never been.

The home
of the great Michel Campeau!

Gabor was introduced to me
in the early 1970s

by Ron Solomon,

who was the photography curator
at the NFB in Ottawa.

He was the first important
photographer I ever met.

I'm hungry.

You had to bring
your own supper!

Right away,
when I met Gabor,

I totally identified
with his world.

I admired his accomplishments,
his work, his lifestyle too.

A little family,
a happy artistic life,

intellectual work and all that.

I could totally relate to that.

I think I also thought of him
as something of a father,

a spiritual or aesthetic father.

He supported me
in my art,

there's no doubt about that.

Hold on a sec.

What's this?

My dear friends!

I'm so happy to be celebrating
the solstice with all of you.

The idea was that everyone would
present a few slides of their work.

And the pleasure
of being together, Michel!

Well, of course!

I already said that!

This is a photo of my family:
my mom, my aunt,

and my uncle.

This is a man looking at my mom

while my mom looks at my dad
who's taking the picture.

We find these strange moments
in our family slides, don't we?

The camera is on the bar

and we're having
a kissing free-for-all.

This is life and love and friendship
and we celebrate it with glee!

Like we're doing here.

Gabor was at the burial
of my mother, Georgette,

and he even took some photos,
believe it or not.

Somewhere in my house

I have the contact sheets
for my mom's funeral,

from Gabor's photos at
the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery.

That's really something.

I think that he knew that
it was an exceptional moment,

for me and maybe for him, too.

I mean,

he knew what it meant,
the presence or absence of a mother.

No social commentary,
these are just family photos.

This was our wedding
in London, Ontario, in 1964.

It wasn't me who took this shot.

Who took it?

No comment.

Gabor, is this really the first time
you've shown these photos?

Yes.

This is Doreen in Atlantic City.

Andrea and I,
comparing muscles.

Pierre Gaudard and Gabor Szilasi
on Mont Washington.

Pierre Gaudard was a close friend,
a French photographer.

Unfortunately, he's gone now.

And that's it.

You once told me that sometimes
you remember taking the photo,

and other times
you don't really remember.

Do you remember taking this one?

Yes, this one I remember.

After the revolution,

there was a week of joy
and of calm.

But after that,
the Russian tanks rolled in

and that's what you see
in this shot.

The terror has returned.

-The calm before the storm.
-Yes.

Well, I'll make another one.

This negative is really tricky.

It was tough when I printed it
the first time, too.

But this image is really important.

This one's no good either.

A quick exposure here...

And?

-It looks okay.
-Yes, not bad.

I can see the details
in the sky.

Yes, I think it will be good.

I left Romania after trying
to leave for two years.

I only succeeded

due to a fairly extraordinary
set of circumstances.

I got to Montreal
and my lover was here,

his parents were here too.

And I would make
a life here.

But when I learned how
Gabor had left Budapest,

it was clear that

he left under
absolutely horrible conditions.

I could allow myself the luxury,

even though I left
under very difficult conditions,

I could allow myself the luxury
of saying,

"I'm not so sure
if I like it here."

It's not that I wanted to go back
to Romania.

Absolutely not.

But I was able to give myself
time to integrate.

But for Gabor, I have the impression

that it was a sink-or-swim
kind of situation.

And that was the case for me too,
eventually.

But I wasn't aware of it,
because the stakes weren't the same.

And later,
quite a bit later,

maybe only
seven or eight years ago,

he started talking to me
about his family.

I never knew,
up to that point,

that he'd had a brother
and a sister.

That was a shock.

Because if you look at him,

he's open and generous,

funny, witty and intelligent.

He knows
an amazing number of things.

He reads, he is cultivated
and all that.

But he only opens up
so far.

After that, the door is closed.

I was born in Budapest in 1928.

My parents were Jewish,

from middle class families.

Due to growing antisemitism
in Hungary,

they decided to convert
to Christianity,

so I was raised
as a Lutheran.

I went to high school

at the Evangélikus Gimnázium
in Budapest.

When the Nazi German army
entered Budapest in 1944,

the antisemitic Hungarian
Arrow Cross Party

started to round up the Jews,
the gypsies, the homosexuals

and all others who didn't fit
into the Nazi Aryan ideal.

My father worked in a forced
labour camp close to Budapest,

but he could come home
in the evenings.

As for us, my mother,
my brother and I,

we were arrested by the police
and brought to a school

where they were gathering up
undesirables.

Thanks to a good friend
of my father,

János and I were able
to get out of the school

but unfortunately,
my mother was separated from us.

She was deported and she died

in the Stutthof concentration camp
in Germany.

Should I do it again?

How was it for you to dig
back into those memories?

It was a little painful.

But you know,
with everything that happened

during the fascist era
in Hungary,

I've forgotten some of it.

But I think of my mother often.

It's emotional for me.

I remember

they started
compiling statistics

and conducting research
on the gypsies and the Jews.

They measured

our noses,

our ears, our mouths and everything,
complete with photos.

It was research to show

that Jews have big noses,

that gypsies had dark brown skin.

My father had a really good friend,
a Catholic.

Risking his own safety,
he was able to get us out.

I never asked my father
what happened,

if there was money involved, or...

And I regret that,
but I never asked him,

and he never told me about it.

I don't know why

he wasn't able to get
our mother out.

So she was deported and she died
in a concentration camp.

He never spoke about his past
when I was growing up.

So I had a gap in my mind
about these historical facts.

I always wondered:
did he not talk about it because

it was too hard for him to talk
about his parents and family?

Because he wanted to start over
here in Canada?

Or was it that he didn't want me
to think of those terrible things,

because I'm his daughter?

His father lived with us.

I was 11 or 12 when his father died,
I think.

And I remember visiting him
in his room,

it was like going
into another apartment.

He had these old paintings,

his encyclopedias
and old wooden furniture.

It was very Hungarian.

I played school with him,
like I was his teacher

and he was my student.

Sometimes he gave me
and my friends money

to buy candy at the corner store.

But I never talked to him
about his past.

It never occurred to me.

And my mom never really
talked about it either.

I think I'd have liked him
to talk to me about it,

because just talking
about something

shows that it's possible to discuss
difficult things that happen.

But it remained mysterious,
and that made everything harder.

When I was a young teen,
my dad wanted to go to Budapest

to show me the house
where he used to live.

That was a time when my dad
wanted to be closer to me,

to show me things.

They're in no hurry.

And I regret that

I wasn't as receptive then
as I would be today.

He wanted to talk one night,
and I was just like,

"I'm going to sleep."

He said he felt
less close to me,

and that was painful to hear.

I didn't jump on the opportunity

to talk or to cry together,
just to have that contact.

Maybe I subconsciously felt
like that door was closed,

and I was happy
to leave it closed.

On our last trip to Budapest,

it wasn't like in the movies where
there's a communication breakthrough

where all the unasked questions
get answered.

But just being there together
was good.

I felt like the silences
were rich and full.

You said that here in Budapest,
we are the survivors?

Excuse me.

Hello?

Mária, please come back.

Tell Zoli that I can't talk to him.

That was one of my students

who now works
as a sound man.

Really?

Yes, that's his profession.

-Like him?
-Yes.

You know, the last one who died
from our class was Ilyes Györgei.

-You visited him a few times.
-Yes.

In the 70s and 80s,
with my wife Doreen,

we came to Budapest
every three years.

So you saw him several
more times.

Yes, and I took a picture of you.
I even sent it to you.

You were the two
handsomest ones, eh?

What do you mean?
Like visually?

Do you mind?
My hearing is a bit poor.

She asked if we were
the handsomest in school.

I said we were not.

Him yes,
but I've never been very handsome.

I don't remember
when you left Hungary.

In 1956.

-In 1956.
-Yeah.

I tried to get out in 1949,

but they caught us
at the border.

I was in prison for five months.

And after, I couldn't go back
to study medicine.

I started working in construction,

building the Budapest metro.

And that's when I bought
a Russian camera, a Zorki.

That's when I started
taking pictures.

I remember that Zorki.

I still have it,
but it no longer works.

It's a museum artifact.

Did you know
that he'd gone to prison?

You didn't know
that I was in prison, did you?

You never told me that.

That's because I wasn't proud
of being a prisoner.

But I don't mind talking about it.

Can I take a picture of you
with Mária?

It's not against the rules.

A candid photo.

Now a real artistic photographer
is taking our picture.

That's right.

Here we go.

The best is how the photographer
is being photographed.

Yes.

As he does his work.

By several people.

A real Mona Lisa smile.

Thank you.

-Bye István.
-Goodbye.

And I'll be back.

Next year, maybe.

Let me call the elevator.

Bye.

It's very hard to go back.

It's hard.

You go back to a place
where you know everything,

your feet know the stones
in the street.

It's no longer the same.

You still have good memories,
because it was your youth.

But it's hard.

You have your memories
in your head,

but when you go back and see
the street corner you know so well,

the restaurant where you went
with your friends,

the café by the university
that is now gone...

It's terrible.

Going to the cemetery,

that's what you do
when you return to your native land.

I don't want
to come back to live here.

I've lived two-thirds of my life
in Canada.

In Montreal.

And I like it there.

All my friends are there.
It has really become my country.

So here, I'm a bit of a tourist,

but that's okay.

Maybe you've started to look
at the exhibition.

These are forty years' worth
of archives

by three photographers
about friendship.

I'll try to keep this simple.

And I'd say that at the same time,
it's a mirror project,

because each visitor recognizes
the images that they see

in their own history.

That's all I have to say.

So have a good trip.

Have a good projection.
The mirror is yours!

It's a work that celebrates
friendship, life, our families.

I'd say about this project

that we're wearing
our cameras over our hearts,

first and foremost.

And again, I can only thank
my friend Gabor.

Can I say a few words?

I love this exhibition.

It's a bit nostalgic,

but it's an important work

about the development
of documentary photography

here and everywhere else.

This exhibition really touches me.

Not just because
it's from our youth.

We look a lot younger,
it's normal.

But especially,

it's really

the energy
of the photographers of the time.

We documented
what was important in their lives.

So thank you for that.

When I take a picture,
it's one 125th of a second.

At the time,

I am present at the scene,

so I know what happened
the minute before

and the minute after.

Yes, what I see right away
is important,

but there's surely something

that holds me,
that I feel strongly

when I capture
that 125th of a second.

Which becomes the past.

Yes, which becomes the past.

Because for you, the present moment
has always been important.

Yes.

And it's the only thing
that a camera can capture:

the present moment.

And that's so different
from cinema or video,

because we know what happened

when the person enters the image
or leaves it.

For me, photography is a poem,

but cinema
is more like a novel.

This and this.

-And all this. But not this.
-Okay.

When we get to that point,
we'll ask you.

I don't want to bring things
that shouldn't come with us.

-These ones?
-Yes.

-But not these?
-No, that's paper.

-And this?
-No.

This yes.

And this?

No.

Okay, we'll put that aside
right away.

All these, and those four there.

There are four in the back?

There are five.

Ten boxes, Alain?

Yeah, I think that should
be enough for now.

We don't want to make too many.

Let me get my camera.

I'm going to need
some sleeves, Serge.

Seventy years of photos, leaving.

-Seventy years?
-Yes.

Incredible. That's a whole life.

Well, yeah.

We collected 13 boxes
and one flat document

with those two big boxes
of negatives.

Fourteen in total.
Received by Alain.

Today is March 19.

I need you to sign here,
and then I'll give you a copy.

Thank you, Mr. Gabor.

-Take care, drive safe!
-Thanks.

-See you.
-Bye.

It's not just a job,
being a photographer.

It's who he is,
and with my mother and me,

it's part of us,
our bodies and our selves.

In all ways.

So I was worried, because I felt

that it was the largest part
of our lives and our past

and our existence as a family.

It wasn't being lost,
but it was leaving.

Or it no longer existed
in the same way.

It's coming.

Did it hit the ceiling?

-Gabor, cheers!
-Thank you.

To your good work,
which will live on.

Thank you.

What's coming up next for you?

In the next years,
what do you wish for?

Continuing good health,
to start.

Good food.

As happy a life as is possible.

I don't think about whether I have
five years left or ten years.

I'm not so worried about that.

If I died right away,
I would die a happy man.

Maybe that won't be
in the film.

No, I'm happy with my life.

Particularly because
I have an extraordinary family

that I really love.

And finally,
the best thing in life is love.

Love forever.

Isn't that a song?