fbpx

Untouched by the West

Director: Raymond Depardon

FRANCE| 2002. ENGLISH SUBTITLES. BLACK AND WHITE. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 105 MINUTES.


Raymond Depardon is at once one of France’s foremost photographers and documentary filmmakers. He has also combined his documentary approach with fictional elements in films like Empty Quarter/Une femme en Afrique (1985) and Captive of the Desert/La Captive du desert (1990). Untouched by the West is his newest foray into that territory. Though he has captured images from Vietnam to the USA, from Italy to Lebanon, Depardon’s obvious predilection is for the African desert, whose texture fits his spare, ascetic style. His new feature, adapted from a novel by Diego Brosset, published in the ’30s and inspired by his own experience as a colonial officer in the Sahara, tells the story of Alifa (Ali Hamit), a young desert tribesman early in the 20th century. It is his point of view, that of a rebel who looks at the western world from a distance, that Depardon adopts with his voiceover. A mixture of anthropology and fiction, Untouched
by the West is worthy of some of Robert Flaherty’s features (Man of Aran, Louisiana Story) in the way it captures the feel of a landscape, from the grains of sand running under the wind to the rising storm where a camel struggles to stand. The gorgeous black-and-white cinematography, along with Depardon’s keen visual sense, endows the picture with an epic, thrilling beauty.

Book Tickets

}