The filmmaker and ethnographer Jean Rouch died in northern Niger on February 19, 2004. He was 86 years old. He left behind a legacy of over 120 films - the bulk of which were recorded in West Africa.
Rouch's work in Africa is characterized by what is referred to as "shared anthropology" and "ethno-fiction." Rouch's films illustrate a keen rethinking of the practice of both ethnography and filmmaking. Rouch's practices blur the distinctions between subject and observer, reality and fiction.
Rouch elaborated a style of filming through which he not only recorded events, but also participated in their creation. According to Rouch, the relationship between the filmmaker and his subject reaches its creative zenith when the filmmaker "can really get into the subject"- when he slips into what Rouch called a ciné-trance. >> continue