Ellis Island Revisited

Ellis Island Revisited
Directed by Robert Bober
Written by Georges Perec
Distributed by TF1[1]
Running time
100 min[1]
Country  France
 United States
Language French

Ellis Island Revisited: Tales of Vagrancy and Hope (French Récits d'Ellis Island: histoires d'errance et d'espoir) is the first documentary film directed by Robert Bober, filmed in New York in 1979 and broadcast by the French television channel TF1 on November 25 and 26, 1980. The script was written by the French writer Georges Perec, who also provided the commentary of the first part of the film and conducted the interviews in the second part.[1]


This project took its shape under Perec no later than 1979, as can be seen in his article, "E as Emigration: Ellis Island,"[2] included in his posthumous book I was born (Je suis né, 1990). In 1980 Perec published for INA-Magazine a text related to this film, with input from Robert Bober.[3] The script was published under both their names the same year, by Editions du Sorbier.[4]

The first part was translated by the writer Harry Mathews, a friend of Perec, and read by him as a voiceover in the English version, released as Ellis Island Revisited: Tales of Vagrancy and Hope, available from the INA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France.[1][5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 David Bellos (1993). "The Works of Georges Perec". Georges Perec. A life in words. London: Harvill/HarperCollins. pp. 717–750. ISBN 0879239808.
  2. Georges Perec (September 1979). "E comme Emigration: Ellis Island" [E as Emigration: Ellis Island]. Recherches (in French) (38).
  3. Georges Perec (December 1980). "Récits d'Ellis Island: Un Film, Un Livre" [Tales of Ellis Island: A film, a book]. INA-Magazine (in French) (23). pp. 6–7.
  4. Georges Perec; Robert Bober. "Recits d'Ellis Island: histoires d'errance et d'espoir". Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  5. Peter Wagstaff (2000). Wendy Everett, ed. The Dark Side of Utopia: Word, Image, and Memory in George Perec's Récits d'Ellis Island: histoires d'errance et d'espoir. The Seeing Century: Film, Vision and Identity. Rodopi. p. 48.

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