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Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne. Nomaden am Südrand der Sahara (1989)

Herzog's documentary of the Wodaabe people of the Sahara/Sahel region. Particular attention is given to the tribe's spectacular courtship rituals and 'beauty pageants', where eligible young... See full summary »

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Herzog's documentary of the Wodaabe people of the Sahara/Sahel region. Particular attention is given to the tribe's spectacular courtship rituals and 'beauty pageants', where eligible young men strive to outshine each other and attract mates by means of lavish makeup, posturing and facial movements. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

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12 June 1989 (West Germany)  »

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Herdsmen of the Sun  »

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1.33 : 1
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Been done before.
8 May 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The same people were the subject of the 1981 documentary "Deep Hearts" by American anthropologist and filmmaker Robert Gardner. His film focused almost exclusively on their mating ritual and consisted of long segments of men doing their makeup and dancing with extremely sparse commentary. It had no subtitles and no soundtrack except for the natural chanting and dancing of the tribe.

In comparison, this documentary by Werner Herzog is more about the overall lifestyle of the people. It subtitles their language and individuals are questioned on screen by the translator. The soundtrack uses opera music in some places.

In my opinion, neither film is great. "Herdsmen of the Sun" is probably more interesting and better filmed and edited than "Deep Hearts", while the latter is probably more authentic.


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