Volume 11, Issue 2, December 2020

A Word from the Editor

This issue takes us to North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The first piece is by ethnologist-filmmaker Paul Henley who situates within its time André Gide and Marc Allégret’s Voyage au Congo (1929), showing how they navigated the pitfalls of contemporary ethnographic treatment of Africa. The next review is by Laure Astourian who tells us about Jean Rouch’s 1950s and 1960s ethnographic films set in both Africa and France, using Paul Henley’s new book L’Aventure du réel as her guide. Moving away from documentary filmmaking, Roxanne Panchasi examines three recent novels about the French nuclear experiments in Algeria between 1960 and 1966. These examine the repercussions for the unwitting population and the guilt experienced by veterans who were commandeered for this duty. She compares the obscurity the has long surrounded this testing (before outrage moved them to the Pacific) to the bien-pensant anti-nuclear message of Hiroshima, mon amour, a film that came out in 1959 just as the French were about to embark on explosions in the desert.

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY


Table of Contents


A neglected masterwork recovered: Travels in the Congo and the French interwar African expedition film, by Paul Henley
L’aventure du réel and Jean Rouch’s Passionate Subjectivity, by Laure Astourian
Radiation Affects: Three Novels About French Nuclear Imperialism in Algeria, by Roxane Panchasi