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Eyengui, el dios del sueño (2003)

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7 November 2003 (Spain) See more »

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Interesting look at the culture of Central African Pygmies
5 June 2004 | by Lars-24See all my reviews

This is an interesting look at the Baka pygmies of Cameroon. Instead of an anthropology documentary in the style of National Geographic, it is the recounting of a legend, all told from the point of view of the tribe. It's quite interesting in how it deals with their mythology and culture, which are of course introduced along the way, often cleverly in the way of an elder explaining to youngsters. (Anthropologists would describe this sort of presentation as "emic" instead of "etic.") There is a lot of voice-over narration, but not of the sort commenting on the customs, but literally the story of the elder (and so forth). It makes a lot of sense and is a good insight into the worldview of one of the few cultures of this type remaining. The scenery is of course quite interesting and the mood feels rather authentic (the director works also as an ethnographer). My main complaint is in some of the post-production, where for instance they felt the need to include a Romantic score that very much takes away from the authentic feel of the film. Why include such an obviously extrinsic element, instead of the pleasing native music which is heard occasionally in the film? There are also occasions which border on heavy-handedness, although these are perhaps fewer than in most films of this type.

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