Jean Rouch

Jean Rouch – Funérailles au Ghana (1960)

A woman’s funeral in Ghana. Read More »

Jean Rouch – Mya – la mère (1970)

About an African mother suckling her two year old child. Read More »

Jean Rouch – Petit à petit AKA Little by Little (1970)

Jean Rouch’s Nigerien collaborators travel to France to perform a reverse ethnography of late-1960’s Parisian life. Read More »

Jean Rouch – La chasse au lion à l’arc AKA The Lion Hunters (1966)

Documentation of the lion hunt performed by the gow hunters of the Songhay people, shot on the border between Niger and Mali over a period of seven years.

Icarus Films Synopsis:

Shot on the border between Niger and Mali over a period of seven years, THE LION HUNTERS is Jean Rouch’s documentation of the lion hunt performed by the gow hunters of the Songhay people.

Opening on the Niger River, the film travels north to “the bush that is farther than far “: the desert region populated by the Fulani cattle herders, who have requested the help of the gow in eliminating a lion, nicknamed “The American” for his cruel cunning, who has been killing their cows. Read More »

Jean Rouch – Moi, un noir AKA I, a Negro (1958)

A group of young Nigerians leave the savannah to work in the Ivory Coast. They end up in Treichville, a poor quarter of Abidjan, lost and rootless in modern civilisation. The hero, who narrates his own story, calls himself Edward J. Robinson in homage to the American actor. Like him, his friends have adopted pseudonyms intended to create, symbolically, an ideal personality. Read More »

Jean Rouch – Madame L’Eau (1993)

IDFA Synopsis :
A number of farmers – Jean Rouch’s actors who more or less play themselves – is looking for a simple and cheap way to irrigate their farmland. They dream of a green Niger. While struggling against their Sahel country turning into a desert more and more, they develop the idea to get a windmill from Holland. Rouch follows the three men – Damour, Lam, and Tallou – when they examine how wind-energy is applied in Holland. Jean Rouch: “The solution we are looking for is simple, so it will work. That is the moral of the film. So many projects have been carried out in this country that have failed. They are the ‘poisoned presents’: waterpumps installed but never maintained. The landscape is filled with these modern ruins.” MADAME L’EAU unmistakably has ironic overtones, but Rouch’s effort is genuine. He protests against the tendency of Third World development projects looking for expensive and complicated solutions that do not fit in with the needs of the local population. Read More »

Edgar Morin & Jean Rouch – Chronique d’un été AKA Chronicle of a Summer (1961)


In the summer of 1960, Edgar Morin, a sociologist, and Jean Rouch conducted an enquiry into the daily lives of young Parisians in an attempt to understand their concept of happiness. This experimental film follows, over a period of a several months, both the investigation itself and the development of its main characters. The initial question “How do you live ? Are you happy ?” very quickly raises others on a number of key issues : politics, hopelessness, boredom, solitude… The interviewees eventually meet as a group at the first showing of the film, to discuss and approve or disapprove of it ; the two co-authors are confronted with the reality of this cruel but exciting experiment in “cinema-vérité”.
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