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The Legacy of Jean Rouch

The Legacy of Jean Rouch

(p.338) 16: The Legacy of Jean Rouch
The Adventure of the Real
University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which attempts to summarize the principles of Jean Rouch's praxis and to assess the value of the legacy that he has left for future generations of ethnographic filmmakers, begins by recognizing that his most acclaimed ethnographic filmwork now lies in the relatively distant past, dating from the 1970s and before. It also recognizes that he developed his praxis in a very different political climate, in the late colonial and early postcolonial period in Africa, and in relation to a cinematographic technology, 16 mm film, which is now effectively obsolete, at least insofar as the great majority of ethnographic filmmakers are concerned. In these circumstances, it is not unreasonable to ask just how relevant the legacy of Rouch's praxis might be for the young anthropologist filmmakers of today just starting out on the “adventure of the real.”

Keywords:   Jean Rouch, ethnographic filmmakers, filmmaking

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