Menschen im Busch

Friedrich Dalsheim, Gulla Pfeffer
Germany 1930 | 64 min | engl. subtitled
Thu, 30-May-19 10:00 AM
Q&A with: Gerlinde Waz

A por­trait of daily life and work in an African vil­lage. Seem­ing­ly untouched by colo­nial influ­ences, the inhab­i­tants are entire­ly self-suf­fi­cient. Eth­nol­o­gist Gulla Pfef­fer and cam­era­man Friedrich Dal­sheim found the vil­lage of the Ewe people in the inte­ri­or of Togo, which was a German colony until 1914. Work in the fields, hunt­ing, prepar­ing meals, weav­ing, pot­tery, danc­ing, and reli­gious rites govern the life of a com­mu­ni­ty whose most modern con­ve­nience is a tele­phone of tin cans and a string. Orig­i­nal speech record­ings, every­day sounds, and orches­tra music are con­cen­trat­ed into an ethno­graph­ic, doc­u­men­tary study, with drums, songs, and ecsta­t­ic dances cul­mi­nat­ing in a “finale furioso” …

People in the Bush is con­sid­ered one of the most poetic films of its day. It was the first time that German film­mak­ers con­sis­tent­ly rep­re­sent­ed the point of view of their doc­u­men­tary sub­jects. With no off-camera nar­ra­tion, the Togolese Ewe from this former German colony talk about their daily rou­tines and life in the Chelekpe vil­lage. All of the speech was re-record­ed during post-pro­duc­tion in Berlin, which was also a first in the his­to­ry of colo­nial and expe­di­tion films.” (Ger­linde Waz)