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Saturday, November 12 • 4:30pm - 6:30pm

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Jean Rouch
1967 | 93 min | France, Niger

Three Nigerien men leave home to seek wealth and adventures on the Gold Coast of Ghana in 1953. A chronicle of their travels, Jaguar was shot before the availability of portable synchronized-sound equipment. More than a decade later, Rouch assembled the silent footage into a feature in collaboration with Damouré Zika, one of the travelers in the film. He then asked Damouré and the other two main characters, Illo and Lam, to improvise their own narration while watching the edited footage. The resulting soundtrack is a lively combination of invented dialogue, jokes, and observations that bring the viewer closer to an understanding of these men than any traditional narration could ever do. A watershed figure in cinema who helped define documentary’s cinema verité movement, Rouch was revered by ethnographers and embraced by the French New Wave. His loose shooting style and close relationship with his subjects make Jaguar a classic across genres, as engaging today as when it first screened.


Saturday November 12, 2011 4:30pm - 6:30pm
People Center Theater American Museum of Natural History

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