Jean Rouch • 19m
Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1956 • 18 minutes
In MAMMY WATER, Jean Rouch depicts the surf boys of the coastal village of Shama, at the foot of the Pra River. Their success is governed by water spirits ('Mammy Water'). When the catch is bad, villagers must honor the spirits with a ceremony if they wish to change their fortunes.
More strictly observational than most of Rouch's films, MAMMY WATER takes an intimate look at the spiritual traditions and the wider life of a West African fishing village.
"After a ritual sacrifice is held to appease the angry ocean spirits, fishermen return to shore with a copious catch, young boys play in the gentle waves of a now-tranquil ocean, and the voice declines to comment as the images are left to communicate the relaxed joy of the moment."—Matt Losada, Senses of Cinema
Up Next in Jean Rouch
Moi, Un Noir (Jean Rouch)
Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1958 • 70 minutes
Winner of the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc in 1958, MOI, UN NOIR marked Jean Rouch's break with traditional ethnography, and his embrace of the collaborative and improvisatory strategies he called "shared ethnography" and "ethnofiction."
Directed by Jean Rouch • Documentary • 1962 • 64 minutes
An aimless young woman is sent home from school with nothing to do. Drifting through the streets of Paris, she comes across a variety of people.
"Extraordinary and extraordinarily rare movie about public misogyny."—Richard Brody, The New ...
Six in Paris: Gare du Nord
Directed by Jean Rouch • Drama • 1965 • 17 minutes
A young woman has a life-changing encounter with a man she happens to meet on the street. Richard Brody of The New Yorker considers this "one of the greatest short films ever."