Corto Vaclav, Hadrien La Vapeur
DR Congo, France 2022 | 71 Min. | engl. subtitled

Sun, 21-May-23 11:30 AM
Q&A with:
Corto Vaclav
» Trailer

Change of date: The film screen­ing will take place on Sunday, 21. May at 11:30 AM (not at 10:30 AM)


Witch­craft is a social real­i­ty in Sub-Sahara Africa. In Braz­zav­ille, the courts are full of cases involv­ing voodoo rit­u­als, sor­cer­ers, ghosts and other invis­i­ble evil forces. The film doc­u­ments the work of a tra­di­tion­al court, which sees itself pri­mar­i­ly as a court of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. To con­vict the guilty, the judges may con­sult ” the invis­i­ble” - clair­voy­ants who reveal the iden­ti­ty of the sor­cer­er. After that, the judges decide which ritual to per­form to resolve the con­flict. This phase of the spirit ver­dict is called ordalie by the judges. In the times of the Euro­pean Inqui­si­tion, an ordalie was used to hand over the judge­ment of a person to the divine.

Hadrien La Vapeur, After assist­ing the direc­tor Philippe Garrel for ten years, he turns to the real­iza­tion of exper­i­men­tal films and pho­to­graph­ic work. In 2009, as he pur­sued a quest for uncul­ti­vat­ed build­ings in Rio de Janeiro, he landed by mis­take in a pos­ses­sion ritual. This encounter with the spir­its upsets his vision of the world and urges La Vapeur to inves­ti­gate the rela­tion­ships that humans can main­tain with the invis­i­ble entities.

Corto Vaclav,  stud­ied anthro­pol­o­gy at Uni­ver­sité Paris Nan­terre. He dis­cov­ered the work of Jean Rouch and worked for the Ethno­graph­ic Film Com­mit­tee. There he met Hadrien La Vapeur, who was seek­ing a sound­man to go to the Congo. Very quick­ly, their jour­ney was trans­formed into an ini­tia­to­ry and pro­tean explo­ration. Since then the two are col­lab­o­rat­ing on their films.  Films: L’ÉTRANGE HISTOIRE DE PRINCE DETHMER (2018, 23 min), KONGO (2019).

Direc­tors: Hadrien La Vapeur, Corto Vaclav
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: H. La Vapeur, C. Vaclav, Y. Schreck
Pro­duc­tion: Broth­er Films, Expédi­tion Invisible