Eight Films by Jean Rouch
The roots of such disparate movements as cinema verite and the French New Wave can be traced back to the Ivory Coast, Niger, and Ghana. That’s where the French filmmaker Jean Rouch practiced his unique brand of documentary filmmaking from the 1940s until his death in an automobile accident in 2004. He was 86.

Rouch has remained a cinephile secret for decades, and in the wake of his death, much of his work has been unavailable — until now.

Long-awaited by cinephiles, the box set "Eight Films by Jean Rouch" compiles some of Rouch’s most seminal and groundbreaking work.

"Eight Films by Jean Rouch" is essential for anyone interested in better understanding the development of ethnography and the cross-currents of colonialism and post-colonial social change in Africa, as well as documentary film practice, film history, and world cinema as a whole.

DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 570 minutes | 10.9 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Horror, Short, Documentary


MAMMY WATER (1955, 19 min)
An exploration of the spiritual traditions of a fishing village on the Gulf of Guinea. When the catch is bad, villagers must honor the water spirits, or Mammy Water, with a ceremony.

THE MAD MASTERS (1956, 29 min)
A possession ritual of the Hauka religious sect using the delirious techniques of "cine-trance" also doubles as a theatrical protest against Ghana’s colonial rulers. The most controversial and also the most widely celebrated work by Jean Rouch.

MOI, UN NOIR (1958, 74 min)
A complex portrait of Nigerian migrants in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast. Winner of the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc in 1958, MOI, UN NOIR marked Jean Rouch's break with traditional ethnography, and his embrace of the collaborative and improvisatory strategies he called "shared ethnography" and "ethnofiction."


THE HUMAN PYRAMID (1961, 93 min)
At a Lycee on the Ivory coast, Rouch meets with white colonial French high-school students and their black African classmates (all non-actors) and persuades them to improvise a drama.

THE LION HUNTERS (1965, 81 min)
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.


JAGUAR (1967, 93 min)
Three young Songhay men from Niger journey to the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana). After filming the trip in mid-1950s, the four reunited a few years later to record the sound, remembering dialogue and making up commentary.

LITTLE BY LITTLE (1969, 96 min)
Jean Rouch’s Nigerian collaborators travel to France to perform a reverse ethnography of late-1960’s Parisian life.


THE PUNISHMENT (1962, 64 min)
An aimless young woman is sent home from school with nothing to do. Drifting through the streets of Paris, she comes across a variety of people.

A new documentary about Jean Rouch and his African films.

Download Eight Films by Jean Rouch: Mammy Water (1953), Les maitres fous / The Mad Masters (1955), Moi, un noir (Treichville) / I, a Negro (1958), La pyramide humaine / The Human Pyramid (1961), La chasse au lion a l'arc / The Lion Hunters (1966), Jaguar (1968), Petit a petit / Little by Little (1970), La punition / The Punishment (1962) 4 x DVD: