Segments in this Video

Introduction to Cartier-Bresson (00:56)


The artist describes himself as impatient and explains why it's difficult to teach photography. (Credits)

Cartier-Bresson's African Experience (01:54)

The photographer includes Andre Lhote and family artists among his early influences and recalls documenting colonial exploitation in Mauritania and on the Ivory Coast.

Cartier-Bresson's Paris Experience (01:13)

The photographer shares admiration for the Surrealist movement. View candid street shots in Marseilles and Barcelona and portraits of Picasso, Breton, and Matisse.

Cartier-Bresson's Philosophy (01:59)

The photographer describes photography as an intuitive art form that seeks truth. View his 1937 film documenting the Spanish Civil War.

Cartier-Bresson's War Experience (02:20)

The photographer was a POW in Germany, where he developed a sense of justice. He describes solidarity in the French Resistance; view images of the underground movement and Liberation.

"The Return" (02:49)

View footage of Cartier-Bresson's film documenting returning French soldiers and persecuting collaborators after World War II.

Magnum Photos (01:39)

View a Cartier-Bresson quote about capturing eternity. He describes forming a cooperative agency with Robert Capa in 1946.

Cartier-Bresson's India Experience (02:40)

The photographer recalls documenting Indian culture and meeting royalty. He describes meeting Gandhi shortly before his assassination; view images of his funeral pyre.

Cartier-Bresson's China Experience (01:15)

The photographer recalls documenting Peking just before the Red Army invaded and describes learning to be culturally sensitive.

Cartier-Bresson's Soviet Experience (01:36)

The photographer visited the USSR in 1954, where he documented humans and the political system. He compares early communism to Christianity—starting well and ending badly.

Learning to Look (03:38)

View images from Berlin and other European cities in 1962. Cartier-Bresson describes his compositional and photo journalistic methods.

Balancing Curiosity and Indiscretion (02:16)

Cartier-Bresson discusses maintaining sensitivity to avoid violating subjects. View images of poverty and homelessness.

Criticizing Economic Inequality (01:52)

Cartier-Bresson discusses documenting the wealthy and his libertarian politics.

Documenting Reality (02:08)

View Cartier-Bresson's images from the 1968 Paris demonstrations. He discusses differences in advertising and journalism photography.

Documenting Religious Activity (01:50)

Cartier-Bresson discusses his lack of faith; view images of Catholics and Muslims worshiping.

Photographing Immediate Reality (01:45)

Cartier-Bresson discusses physical and mental aspects of the art, and emphasizes its intuitive nature.

Zen of Photography (02:12)

Cartier-Bresson drew inspiration from Degas and Braque, and adopted an Eastern philosophy for his art.

Portrait Challenges (06:11)

View a quote about subject inner workings. Cartier-Bresson recalls photographing artists such as Mauriac, Bonnard, Pound, Chanel and Faulkner; he has difficulty shooting actors and politicians.

Photographic Tools (01:20)

Cartier-Bresson discusses his preference for Leica cameras and black and white film. View images of Martin Luther King and African-Americans.

"Southern Exposures" (01:34)

View footage from Cartier-Bresson's 1970 documentary film of Mississippi race relations.

"California Impressions" (02:38)

Cartier-Bresson discusses the impossibility of photographing something "new" and the importance of capturing social change. View 1970 footage of anti-Vietnam War demonstrations.

Inspiration from Drawing (01:53)

Cartier-Bresson explains his preference for the Leica 24x36 format and admiration for portrait sketches.

Cartier-Bresson's Technology Series (01:48)

View images of Cold War space crafts. The photographer discusses how science is setting humanity on a dangerous path.

Capturing Joy (02:33)

Cartier-Bresson shares his admiration for Proust and the pleasure of recording experiences while going unnoticed.

Credits: Cartier Bresson’s Century (00:42)

Credits: Cartier Bresson’s Century

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Cartier-Bresson’s Century 

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Few have revolutionized photography as much as French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson has. The father of modern photojournalism contributed spreading the "street photography" or "life reportage", a style that influenced generations of photographers. In this documentary, he narrates the crucial moments of his life, such as his meeting with Gandhi, while his shots illustrate his work. Portions with English subtitles.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL55969

ISBN: 978-0-81609-052-5

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.