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La cage (1963)

After studying medicine in France ,David comes back to his native Gabon to treat his compatriots.He meets Oyana ,his former sweetheart ,and both laugh at the old-fashioned traditions .The ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Darène
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marina Vlady ... Isabelle
Jean Servais ... Rispal
Muriel David Muriel David ... Oyane
Colette Duval Colette Duval ... Colette
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alain Bouvette Alain Bouvette ... Le contremaître
Marianne Foké Marianne Foké ... La fiancée de David
Philippe Mory Philippe Mory ... Le docteur Philippe Ombous (as Philippe Maury)
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Storyline

After studying medicine in France ,David comes back to his native Gabon to treat his compatriots.He meets Oyana ,his former sweetheart ,and both laugh at the old-fashioned traditions .The young physician is sent to the bush where he is to vaccinate the somewhat reluctant population.He meets Rispal, a white man who tells him there are things he ignores in his own country where legends ,witches and superstitions abound.Most amazing thing,this embittered man has a wife,Isabelle ,a beautiful woman who wanders through the bush. Written by dbdumonteil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bush | native | magic | physician | See All (4) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Gabon | France

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 May 1963 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La jaula See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Daktari (of a mouse and men)
6 April 2017 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

After studying medicine in France ,David comes back to his native Gabon to treat his compatriots.He meets Oyana ,his former sweetheart ,and both laugh at the old-fashioned traditions ,some of which have lingered then(1963):one sees a swap: a woman for a she-goat.

The young physician is sent to the bush where he is to vaccinate the somewhat reluctant population.His first patient,scared to death by the syringe, takes to his heels

He meets Rispal, a white man who tells him there are things he ignores in his own country where legends ,witches and superstitions abound.The usual situation is reversed : David,the native,the black man,represents the modern scientific side whilst Ripal,the white seasoned middle- age raider seems to believe in sorcery,in the magic of a strange liquor ,in ancient rites ...

The Rispal/David relationship is ambiguous :are they really friends? Most amazing thing,this embittered man has a wife,Isabelle ,a beautiful woman ,who wanders through the bush.She seems to be always alone ,as though she was imprisoned in the cage made by the branches of the mangroves .David is spellbound ,at night she comes back to haunt him,and asks him to get rid of her husband so they will find happiness together.

The first part of this Gabon-French co-production is close to documentary;with Isabelle's appearance ,halfway through, the movie is plunged into a strange atmosphere with something of Edgar Poe: Isabelle appears first on a portrait hanging on the wall .Then little by little ,an idea dawns upon the viewer:Is Isabelle real?Is Risdal's wife the pet mouse he keeps in a small cage?Does the white man want to challenge the young black scientist?And his fiancée thinks that she might be the legendary White Woman (Mamy Watta,alternate title of the film) who inflames the black man's desire.

It was actually a collaboration between a seasoned director ,Robert Darène whose early efforts were largely disappointing (with the exception of "Les Chiffonniers D'Emmaus")and a young one:Philippe Maury (also actor) it was a film done for research degree (Grande Ecole Des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques )

Almost entirely filmed on location,"La Cage" takes advantage of the superb landscapes ,particulary when the ghostly Isabelle (ideally portrayed by Marina Vlady ,whose mysterious beauty works wonders) wanders through the mangroves at dawn .Jean Servais who co-wrote the dialogue is well cast as the raider who's seen it all before .Many natives are featured,using their own language.

"La Cage" is an unsettling work,which would deserve to be more widely known.

Like this ? try these:

-"L'Esclave Blanc"(Jean-Paul Paulin ,1936)

-"Orfeo Negro" (Marcel Camus ,1958)


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