Cemetery in the Cliff

Inside of a loop in Niger River, at the feet of the sandstone cliffs at Bandiadara, Mali, a Dongon village is spread out. The film records the Dongon funeral rituals for the death of a young man in this village, the sacrifices to the water spirit, the return of the cadaver and its interment in the cemetery, and the ritual condolences.

Jean Rouch

Jean Rouch is one of the most important anthropologists and representatives of ethnographic cinema, who also contributed greatly to the evolution of the French New Wave and cinéma vérité. With his richly varied work, the greater part of which was filmed in Africa, he broadened the ethnographic documentary’s horizons and set the foundation for the creation of ethnofiction, which blurred the boundaries between documentary and fiction.