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Emile de Antonio
Harry S. Ashmore,
Not really a documentary, this a romanticized travelog with a tiny plot. Three young men leave their village in Niger for a 3-month visit to coastal Ghana, where they find odd jobs and earn enough cash to buy gifts to take back to their families.
Along the way they come across beautiful savannas, forests, hills, and an interesting village or two. Waiting in Ghana are teeming marketplaces, a gold mine, the ocean, and lots of opportunities to generally live free and easy.
This film offers an idyllic view, from a young man's standpoint, of West African life in the mid-1960's, about five years after independence, with the harsh aspects of reality removed. It's a highly selective, upbeat view that shows off some of the most touching and picturesque aspects of life in that era of post-independence West Africa.
Director Rouch's most amazing feat is assembling a huge number of more- or-less spontaneous clips that together give an impression--a partial and idealized one--of cultural diversity and the joy of living in West Africa.
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