6.9/10
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8 user 7 critic

Les maîtres fous (1955)

A documentary short depicting a Hauka ceremony where young workers are possessed by British colonial officers.

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In one of the first mockumentaries ever created, director Jean Rouch takes his viewers to the city of Accra (West Africa) where he follows the Hauka movement and their religious and ritual proceedings which works as an effective way to challenge and resist the British colonialism of the period. The indigenous people's rituals includes strange and frantic dances, chanting, sacrifices and some mockery of the Europeans living there. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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7 December 1995 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

A bolond urak  »

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1.37 : 1
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

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Featured in J'ai vu tuer Ben Barka (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a strange and often disturbing documentary short
7 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

Saliva bursts from their shuddering mouths, forming bubbly clouds of white. Obviously, images such as these are quite shocking and unpleasant, but one must get used to them before delving into Jean Roach's twisted short film "The Mad Masters"

"The Mad Masters" is a film as weird and fascinating as its subject, a religious sect in West Africa. Roach's lens follows their often uncomfortable rituals, as they are "possessed" by spirits and even manage to drink blood. Throughout the film, many unforgettable images are exposed to the viewer. Whether these people are genuinely being possessed by spirits or not, there is no denying that their movements, actions, and noises whilst in such a state are quite petrifying. Their dances of painful possession shall forever remain in my cinematic memory as some of the strangest and most unbelievable content I have witnessed in a documentary film.


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