Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1967 • 88 minutes
One of Jean Rouch's classic ethnofictions, JAGUAR follows three young Songhay men from Niger -- Lam Ibrahim, Illo Goudel'ize, and the legendary performer Damoure Zika--on a journey to the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana).
Drawing from his own fieldwork on intra-African migration, the results of which he published in the 1956 book Migrations au Ghana, Rouch collaborated with his three subjects on an improvisational narrative. The four filmed the trip in mid-1950s, and reunited a few years later to record the sound, the participants remembering dialogue and making up commentary. The result is a playful film that finds three African men performing an ethnography of their own culture.
"Rouch's most thorough examination of the African experience under the colonial regime, and an early example of his concept of provocation, the practice in which the camera's presence is intended to cause those being filmed to react, thus creating, rather than merely recording, events."—Matt Losada, Senses of Cinema