Les Maîtres fous is an “ethnofiction” made in 1955 by French ethnologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch, about ritual practices associated with trance and possession among the Hanoukas in Niger. After the screening, Serge Margel will discuss the film and draw links between the theme of possession and colonialism, and explore articulations between trance and cinema, which Rouch called “ciné-transe.”
Jean Rouch was among the founders of ethnographic cinema, the inventor of “ethno-fiction,” and is considered a precursor of New Wave cinema. Serge Margel is a philosopher and literary critical at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, and teaches the history of cinema at the University of Brasilia in Brazil. He works on the relationship between cinema and ethnography, particularly comparative visual anthropology.
Co-sponsored by the Maison Française and Institute of African Studies