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STATISTICS:
Alice Guy-Blaché was a pioneer of the French and American film industries. The first woman director, she is also generally acknowledged to be the first director to film a narrative story.
Germaine Dulac (1882–1942) was a central figure in 1920s French avant-garde cinema, and its only woman director. A filmmaker with her own production company who worked in narrative, avant-garde, and documentary genres, Dulac was also an active feminist, an outspoken film and theater critic, a cofounder of the French Federation of Ciné-Clubs, and a prolific writer who wrote some of the earliest treatises on avant-garde film.
Matopos (12 min)
Stéphanie Machuret
FranceGALLERYCONVERSATION
 Media Center
During an African dance lesson, as I was tapping into my inner child and moving like a bamboo shoot in the wind, I was inspired to make this animation.

I was thinking about the strength of the shoot, resisting the onslaughts of the wind that persistently tried to break it. But the bamboo shoot stays powerfully rooted in the ground and bends with the wind, never breaking.

Music is an important feature in this film because I believe that music is an extremely important part of our lives. Ever since the beginning of humanity, it has helped people overcome their fears.

The central character in the animation is an old woman who represents mother earth as she exorcises the blind boy with her music. She shows him that he need not be afraid of the unknown. She teaches him that there are different sides to the natural elements - something seemingly bad could actually be good, and vice versa.

At the end of the film, she is the great mother who, through the power of music and the power of belief, gives confidence to the villagers, gives them hope for the future, and helps them understand the natural elements. Her power to heal through nature speaks not only to the characters of the film but also to women around the world.

The beautiful landscape in the animation was inspired by a protected area in Zimbabwe called Matopos.

 

***

FILM CREDITS: 

Director: Stéphanie Machuret
Producer: Ron Dyens
Special effects: Stéphanie Machuret, Alexandre Dubosc
Animation: Anthony Ménard, Eric Castaing, Raphaël Lev
Cinematographer Marc Boyer
Editor: Emmanuelle Zelez
Music: Nawal Mlanao 

For entire credit roll, please see added story on the right.

 

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