7.5/10
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10 user 1 critic

Herdsmen of the Sun (1989)

Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne. Nomaden am Südrand der Sahara (original title)
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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Documentary | Short

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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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Wodaabe
27 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Wodaabe: Herdsmen of the Sun (1989)

*** (out of 4)

Very interesting documentary that follows the Wodaabe tribe of the Sahara region as they discuss various parts of their lives including a four year drought they had just gone through. The majority of the film focuses on a seven day beauty pageant where the women get to pick men to spend the night with and perhaps marry. I'm not sure how Herzog picks his material when it comes time to do a documentary but he's got a magic touch at finding interesting subjects. This is a very interesting documentary that shows us some people that many probably never even heard of and I have to wonder how many of the people in the film had ever seen a video camera before the German director showed up to film them. The film moves at a very fast pace and there's not a single slow moment even though a lot of the film is pictures only and doesn't feature too much narration. The narration is done by Herzog himself and that incredible voice works well with the film. There are several very cute moments including the morning after a couple has stayed the night together and Herzog is trying to question them but they are blushing so much and can't think of anything to say. It's moments like that that make this documentary worth seeing.


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