Sunday, February 17, 2013

288. Les Maitres Fous

Les Maitres Fous
The Mad Masters
Directed by Jean Rouch

I am really not sure what I just watched.  It was only a half hour, so it went by pretty quickly.  So what follows is a short, confused review of a short and confusing film.

This is a documentary (that is the only way Rouch could have gotten away with showing these images in 1955) that shows the Haukas performing a ritual that supposedly allowed them to become possessed by their colonial oppressors. This ritual consists of them foaming at the mouth and doing something I don't want to talk about with a dog.

I am pretty sure that this is mostly fictionalized.  Whether or not it is, it still represents the exotic, tribal stereotype that is both racist and offensive.  On the other hand, the tribe is mocking the Europeans, which can be seen as offensive to white people.  So insults all around!

Gross and nothing in terms of plot; I really don't know what the point of that was.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Banned in Niger and Ghana.


  1. ??????????????
    This ranks on the same level as Limité.
    Why did I have to watch this.

  2. Depending upon how real it was, it might be interesting, but I do wonder. Apparently a real phenomena, but it's the sort of thing where I get a sense of people acting up in front of the cameras. Or maybe not, I don't know.

    And I wonder what it necessarily represents. I mean, the Flat Earth Society had their international conference in South Carolina a few days ago, but were some anthropologist to have filmed that, what does it tell us about about the west?

    I won't criticise exactly, as I don't have the knowledge to do so. But I don't feel like I've learned much either.

    1. Agreed. So doesn't even qualify as one that isn't enjoyable but "should" be watched.