• Charles Cherney

122: The Young Girls Turns 55

The Young Girls Turns 25 is a 1993 French documentary film directed by Agnès Varda, about Jacques Demy's 1967 musical film The Young Girls of Rochefort.


The Young Girls of Rochefort is my favorite film of all time.

Somehow, I did not know about Varda's 1993 documentary about the film until this year (2021) – the year The Young Girls of Rochefort turns 55. As it happens, I turn 55 in 2021 as well. Ca, alors - the passage of time!


Agnès Varda (1928-2019) was a Belgian-born French film director, screenwriter, photographer, and artist. She was married to Jacques Demy (1931-1990), a French director, lyricist, and screenwriter, and the director of The Young Girls of Rochefort.


When The Young Girls Turns 25 was made, Jacques Demy had already passed away a few years earlier in 1990 at the young age of 59. And now Agnès Varda has passed away as well – she died in 2019.


Varda's documentary recounts the 25th anniversary of the film in Rochefort. France. Varda and movie actress Catherine Deneuve and others involved in the making of the film gather in Rochefort to celebrate. Seeing the stunning Deneuve on screen, one is reminded that her elder sister and co-star in the film – Françoise Dorléac - died in a car accident in 1967 at the age of 25, soon after The Young Girls of Rochefort was released.


Of course, with the passage of time, many of the other actors and extras who appear in the film are no longer alive either, most notably Gene Kelly (1912-1996).


And yet The Young Girls of Rochefort as a work of art lives on, forever bringing joy to those who get to see it.


Get a taste for this wonderful film with this scene:


Or this magical scene with Gene Kelly:


While watching The Young Girls Turns 25, I found myself very much aware of the gift of life and the preciousness of each moment. I cannot wait to see The Young Girls of Rochefort again. I know that having seen The Young Girls Turns 25 will make my next viewing of the film itself that much sweeter. Now matter how old the film gets, it never gets old.