La Jetée (1962) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Time travel, still images, a past, present and future and the aftermath of World War III. The tale of a man, a slave, sent back and forth, in and out of time, to find a solution to the world's fate. To replenish its decreasing stocks of food, medicine and energies, and in doing so, resulting in a perpetual memory of a lone female, life, death and past events that are recreated on an airports jetée.

  • It's post WWIII Paris, where nuclear radiation has devastated life on the surface, driving most survivors underground. There are generally two categories of survivors, the victors who control what happens and the prisoners who are at the mercy of the victors. Because of the devastation, scientists have been experimenting with time travel so that they can learn from both the past and the future to help cure the present. They generally use prisoners as guinea pigs because of the physical and emotional toll of the experiments. One specific prisoner they choose is because he has such a strong emotional attachment to one specific memory from his past, which they believe will make it easier for him to endure the travel if they send him back to that specific time. That time is at Orly Airport when he was a child before the war, he seeing a woman off in the distance on the outdoor viewing platform. This fond memory is despite he realizing that a man died at that time, that knowledge which is only deep in his subconscious. On his trips between the present and this specific time in his past, he, as an adult, is able to develop a relationship with this woman. Can it be sustained seeing as to the time travel, and/or do the scientists have a grander plan for him related to this strong memory?

  • Told mostly through a series of photos and with a voice-over narration, this is the story of a man in a post World War III Paris who is sent back in time. The man has two recurring images of his youth. The first is when he was a young boy on the observation deck at Orly airport where he saw a man shot and killed. The second image is that of a beautiful woman. Both images are of great importance to him as he learns just who and what they are.

  • In a devastated Paris in the aftermath of WWIII, The few surviving humans begin researching time travel, hoping to send someone back to the pre-war world for food, supplies and maybe a solution to their dire position. One man is haunted by a vague childhood memory that will prove fateful.

  • The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.


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