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The Mad Masters (1955)
"Les maîtres fous" (original title)

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7 December 1995 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Hullut mestarit  »

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Fascinating.
17 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This rare and interesting piece of film really struck me when I watched it. I was already expecting something like those old National Geographic films I remember seeing now and then as a kid, they must have shown them on TV at some point. This however is a bit different in that you are presented at times with quite horrific imagery and scenarios. As long as you have an open mind and are not going to get squeamish at the ritual sacrifice of a chicken, (a dog too but you do not see this at least), then I would say that everyone should watch this! These Africans are showing a quasi-religious ceremony that is an obvious reaction and mocking of the British colony masters. Each Hauka is dressed to represent some Colonel or General etc and they mock them whilst at the same time, showing a very intense and, at times, frightening display of trance and 'spiritual' behaviour. Watching this movie has opened my eyes to what I already loved to watch but did not know the term for it: Ethnographic Cinema. Ethnography. There are so many great films of records of Africans and Tribal peoples around the world and I find them so interesting. In fact this one isn't as good as a couple I already got a hold of and have just watched (Turkana Conversations Trilogy (1974) - Three films by David Macdougall & Judith Macdougall - Shot in Turkana, Kenya.) I highly recommend you checking those out if you find yourself being fascinated by this film.


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