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164 Ratings

Little by Little

Petit à petit

Directed by Jean Rouch
France, Niger, 1970


Inverting the familiar narrative of a Frenchman traveling to Africa, Little by Little instead finds a Nigerian visiting Paris as research to build a grand building in his home village.

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Little by Little Directed by Jean Rouch

Critics reviews

No outside figure has contributed more to the cinema of francophone West Africa than Jean Rouch. Yet, much as he devoted his life’s work to subverting the power dynamics of the anthropological gaze, his influence does not only flow one way. For it was his films – and not only his, given the crucial roles played by his African collaborators – that in turn helped bring a new language to French cinema. None of those films better symbolise the complexities of that exchange than Petit á Petit.
March 19, 2016
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Though the film has its strong points (the performances are naturalistic, the mise-en-scene casual yet refined), Rouch’s gags gradually wear thin and distract from the more intriguing sociopolitical concerns.
January 23, 2013
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