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Film Modernism$
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Sam Rohdie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992637

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992637.001.0001

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(p.161) Nowhere
Film Modernism

Sam Rohdie

Manchester University Press

In Jean Rouch’s film La Chasse au lion à l’arc, the film begins as a story told to children about their ancestors who hunted lions with bow and arrow. The film is that story (mythological) and its actuality (a documentary, also a document of the telling of the story and of the document being filmed of it, a film and the idea of it, a film and its processes. The story told to the children is of a journey to the African bush in Mali, “Further than far to the Land of Nowhere”, the story of Nowhere and its lion hunters and the journey by Rouch to Nowhere in search of the hunters, in a magic land where anything is possible and everything true and imaginary. Paths disappear, are erased or blurred allowing new ones to spring to life, in fact, and in fancy. You have to feel your way, as if in the dark, like a caress. It cleanses the eye to enable pure sight, freshens the ear to enable pure sound, is open to imaginings, lost voices, the whisperings and murmurings of the dead, and it is prompted by desire, liberated from reason.

Keywords:   documentary, mythological, magic, imaginary

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