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Icarus Film
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provocative documentary films
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Fang: An Epic Journey
A Film by Susan Vogel
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FANG mixes documentary and fiction techniques to recount an African art object's journey through a century of peril and adventure, and uses the film styles of each historical period to tell its story - a whole century of Western attitudes towards African culture packed into 8 minutes.

"Highly Recommended! [A] little gem... Part of what makes FANG so clever is that with each vignette, director Susan Vogel uses a different film style and look. The effect is delightfully quirky, but never kitschy... there is nothing to dislike here. The film raises questions about authenticity, art, culture, and history, and would be useful in stimulating discussion. It would be an excellent addition to collections supporting art history, African history, or anthropology."—Educational Media Reviews Online

"A complete delight, so witty and pithy - if you blink, you may miss an important piece of art history."—Professor Suzanne MacRae, English Department, Univ. of Arkansas

"Fast, funny and provocative. The film focuses attention on the arbitrary and changing nature of the categories of 'art' in Western culture and raises important questions about the integrity of the object and the relationship between museum exhibition of objects and their value on the art market. It takes me two lectures to cover this material; this film does it in 8 minutes."—Professor Jean Borgatti, Clark University

"In a thoroughly inventive approach to its topic, this crisp black and white drama explores the ways in which African art has been appropriated through time and space."—Margaret Mead Film Festival

2004 African Studies Association Film Festival

8 minutes / color/b&w
Release: 2003
Copyright: 2001
Sale: $145

20-Page Study Guide Available
in Adobe PDF Format

Subject areas:
Africa, African American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Historiography, History (World), Multi-Cultural Studies, Sociology, Study Guide

Related Links:
The Films of Susan Vogel

Related Titles:
Fold Crumple Crush: The Art of El Anatsui: A powerful portrait of Africa's most widely acclaimed contemporary artist El Anatsui.

Bruly Bouabré's Alphabet: In the 1950's, Ivory Coast artist Bruly Bouabré created hundreds of pictograms based on one-syllable words in his language, Bété.

Cracks in the Mask: A Torres Strait Islander sets out on a voyage of discovery to the great museums of Europe where his cultural heritage now lies.

Future of Mud: This is the story of Komusa Tenapo, master mason and heir to the secrets of Djenne architecture, the traditional use of mud in Malian buildings.

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Last Updated October 6, 2016
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