This strange little film comes out of French-speaking Benin in Africa. Too long for a short film but too short for a feature, it clocks in at a somewhat awkward 60 minutes. Despite having a release date of 1998, it resonates with a grainy anachronisticness -- while viewing, I was constantly trying to figure out when it was made and supposed to be set. In this respect it's an interesting film, showing how "third world" countries frequently remain pleasantly and frustratingly lodged in the past. Beginning from a white French philosophy teacher's perspective, the narrative beautifully shifts to a more indigenous perspective with the (relatively) simple act of the giving away of a car (carcasse). Minimal in dialogue, the film eventually gives way to a beautiful near-silence with mesmerizing, long, simple shots. However, though this is a stick-to-the-ribs little film, it is hard as a viewer to connect with any main character or characters, as the philosophy teacher fades out and the rest of the film focuses not on individuals but on the tribe. Also, the film is so subtle in its execution that it lacks narrative drama/tension/action and fails to go into much depth. There are some intriguing things to be gleaned from this film from a cultural anthropology view, but it sadly fell short of its potential. Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, it toyed with Herzogian themes without the haunting power of a Herzog film. Nonetheless worthwhile and a good movie to discuss and learn from and think about.
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