Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Monday's viewing of Jean Rouch's "Jaguar" was an example of how easily an ethnographer can manipulate the naivete of the audience member.

The main idea of the film follows the three friends from Niger, Lam Ibhraim, Illo, Damore Zika. Some moments, especially the introduction can be rather corny and comical. One instance is when the three friends are attempting to cross the border without their passports. At the same time you can't believe the dialogue that is occurring on screen and yet the comments on the police is very true. When the character went towards the police hut what he said was very simple, something like "Ok so now I'm going to the Police hut" and then how he was thrown around the levels of authority in the mere proximity of the gate to the city. And the comment that the character gives and his idea that police are useless and can easily trick them by merely walking behind the hut.

What I found to be interesting was the choice to do voice overs rather than subtitles. The voice overs is what did not validate the film for me.

Besides the aspect that the film was a sort of message of the responsibilities that a young man owes to himself to grow up. By leaving town they go to look for food and the film makes the messages that it is a coming of age tale.

The movie trails through a sort of parody like method with story telling.

But the good thing about the film was that it didn't carry a serious tone like most of the other films that we've seen.

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