FILMMAKER JEAN ROUCH’S LEGACY

By Chloe Darnaud

Ground-breaking French filmmaker Jean Rouch would have been 100 years old this May. Considered to be one of the founders of cinéma-vérité in France, Jean Rouch was a French filmmaker and anthropologist. The expression, meaning “cinema truth”, was first used to publicise the film Chronicle Of A Summer (Chronique D’un Eté, 1959), in which he redefined the nature of documentary.

chronique-dun-ete
EJean Rouch (left) co-directing Chronicle Of A Summer with the sociologist Edgar Morin (right)

 

But not only did Jean Rouch invent a new genre, he was also one of the first filmmakers to adopt the hand-held camera technique. In 1946, while shooting his first film, In the Land of the Black Magi (Au pays des mages noirs) his tripod fell into the Niger river and so he was forced to work without it. The filmmaker would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. He died in a car accident in February 2004, in Niger. A legacy and important figure still remembered and admired to this day.

 

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