Jean Rouch and His Camera in the Heart of Africa
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by Philo Bregstein
in cooperation with Dutch Television
color, 74 min, 1986
"Filming filmmakers is not an easy task: from time to time there are glimpses of show-off tactics, private jokes which make holiday and family films so unbearable. To undertake such a project in Africa is almost acrobatic. There are so many obstacles ... Philo Bregstein and Dutch television, no doubt for the first time in the history of world television, have managed to make a successful film on filmmakers from Niger, avoiding all the standard traps lying around for Western travelers, thoughtless givers of 'poisoned presents.'"
Jean Rouch and His Camera in the Heart of Africa provides an in-depth look at the film work of Jean Rouch and his associates from Niger who participated in the production of many of Rouch's Niger-based films. Most of the camera and technical work was accomplished by Niger filmmakers. Bregstein, Rouch, Damoure, Lam, their friend Tollou and others converse about filmmaking and filmmakers who have had historical influence in the field; segments from several of Rouch's earlier film works are interspersed with the filming in Niger and with interviews. Some of the films from which clips are included and discussed by Rouch and Bregstein are Chronicle of a Summer, Moi, un Noir, Tourou et Bitti, Battle on the Great River, Jaguar, Les Maitres Fous, The Lion Hunters, and Petit a Petit.
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Cinema du Reel, 1979