This dissertation examines the evolution of Rouch's filmmaking practice, looking, in particular, at the role that French imperial culture and the colonial situation played in shaping his ideas about both anthropology and film.
Rouch's life and work took shape in dialogue with both France's imperial project and West Africa's struggle for independence from (neo)colonial power.
Through an analysis of archival photographs from the Indian Residential School system, testimony taken at TRC gatherings, and popular representations of the IRS legacy in media and literature, this dissertation focuses on the complicated terrain of reconciliation in Canada.
In particular, I concentrate on how reconciliation influences and is influenced by 1) understandings of Canadian nationhood, 2) the ways in which visibility and invisibility are negotiated through truth commissions, and 3) the dialectical relationship between remembering and forgetting.
Children at the schools were forbidden from speaking their traditional languages or practicing their cultural and religious beliefs.
When parents objected to having their children taken, their children were often forcibly removed.
And in spite of Rouch's efforts to use film as a means to transform anthropology into a more collaborative and dialogic undertaking, many African filmmakers accused Rouch of having an imperialist vision of his African subjects.
Rouch was also criticized - and not only by Africans - for his aversion towards politics and for what some perceived as a tendency to avoid political controversy in his films.
French anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch made over 100 films throughout his long career, the bulk of which were recorded in West Africa.
Founder of the cinéma-vérité movement and pioneer of techniques like 'shared anthropology' and 'ethno-fiction,' Rouch used the medium of film to stimulate new ways of thinking about anthropological knowledge, cross-cultural encounters, and the apparent fixity of social roles in the (post)colonial world order.