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Jean Rouch: Six Films
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The West African films of French ethnographer Jean Rouch revolutionized both cinema and the practice of ethnography in the 20th century.

The six Rouch titles distributed by Icarus include his most highly regarded works. The full set represents the period of his most sustained creative flourishing, in which he developed the techniques of "ethno-fiction" and "ciné-trance". He described his practice during as this era as "shared anthropology", which he said "appears to me to be the only morally and scientifically feasible anthropological attitude today."

The films in the set are:

  • Jaguar - In Jean Rouch's collaborative ethnofiction, three Nigerien men journey to Accra for work.
  • The Lion Hunters - Jean Rouch's self-reflexive depiction of lion hunting among the Songhay people of Niger, and the social structure that underlies it.
  • Little By Little - Jean Rouch brings his Nigerien collaborators to France to perform a reverse ethnography of late-1960s Parisian life.
  • Moi, Un Noir - In this landmark documentary, Jean Rouch collaborates with his subjects to produce a complex portrait of Nigerien migrants in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.
  • Mammy Water - A gentle portrait by Jean Rouch of the spiritual traditions of a fishing village in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • The Mad Masters - Jean Rouch depicts a Hauka possession ceremony that doubles as a theatrical protest against The Gold Coast's colonial rulers.

Note: Buy all six films together for $1475, and save more than 30% on the list price.

"The very nature of ethnographic cinema-how it is practiced, how it is talked about, where its limits are deemed to lie-has been profoundly shaped by the work of the late Jean Rouch." —Paul Henley, THE ADVENTURE OF THE REAL: JEAN ROUCH AND THE CRAFT OF ETHNOGRAPHY

"One of the most creative forces in ethnographic film and one of its most vigorous challengers." —Pat Aufderheide, DOCUMENTARY FILM: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION

"Rouch forged a new synthesis of anthropology and cinema...His work, perhaps today more than forty years ago, can be recognized as a powerful expression of a new and expanded vision of universal humanity which was embodied in the revolution of colonial peoples." —Anna Grimshaw, THE ETHNOGRAPHER'S EYE: WAYS OF SEEING IN ANTHROPOLOGY

"No one has done so much...to break with a cinema of ethnology and say Moi, un noir" —Gilles Deleuze

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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