Jean Rouch (Paris – 31 May 1917, Niger – 18 February 2004) was a French filmmaker and anthropologist.
At their best his films are about peak experiences and are densely packed with detail. They show individuals who display a creative spirit, a wholeness and excitement which are rare in any cinema and virtually unique in ethnographic films. Moreover they are not just about “primitive peoples” but also depict his own culture and always they are concerned with dynamic situations of culture change.
He is considered to be one of the founders of the cinéma vérité in France, sharing the aesthetics of the direct cinema in the US pionered by Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert and David Maysles. Rouch’s practice as a filmmaker for over sixty years in Africa, was characterized by the idea of shared anthropology. Influenced by his discovery of surrealism in his early twenties, many of his films blur the line between fiction and documentary, creating a new style of ethnofiction… read more