18 jun 2011

Herdsmen of the sun

Title: Herdsmen of the sun
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: Werner Herzog
Year: 1989
Running time: 43 minutes
Country: Germany
Plot summary:
Wodaabe - Herdsmen of the Sun (German: Wodaabe - Die Hirten der Sonne) is a 1989 documentary film by Werner Herzog. The film explores the social rituals and cultural celebrations of the Saharan nomadic Wodaabe tribe. Particular focus is given to the Gerewol celebration, which features an elaborate male beauty contest to win wives.
Although the film may be considered to be ethnographic, Herzog commented that: "[My films] are anthropological only in as much as they try to explore the human condition at this particular time on this planet. I do not make films using images only of clouds and trees, I work with human beings because the way they function in different cultural groups interests me. If that makes me an anthropologist then so be it."
The opening shots of the film depicts a celebration of male beauty, showing men dancing in elaborate costume, accentuating their height and whites of their eyes and teeth to attract women, as "Ave Maria" plays in the background (a 1901 recording sung by Alessandro Moreschi, the last castrato of the Vatican).

© Text and image: IMDB

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