The Mokélé-Mbembé Hypothesis

Frankreich 2011, Dokumentarfilm, Blu-ray, Farbe, 78’ | Regie, Buch, Bildgestaltung, Schnitt Marie Voignier | Ton Thomas Fourel | Darsteller_innen Michel Ballot, Jean-Claude Bembo, Etienne Bembo, Patrice Lumumba, Lucien Abagui Iya, Lucien Betti und andere | Produzent Thierry Lounas, Capricci Films, Koproduktion Elisabeth Pawlowski, L’âge d’or | Weltvertrieb L’âge d’or

The mokélé-mbembé is said to live somewhere in the African rainforests. And so, over the years, Michel Ballot, a French zoologist, has explored the thick jungle and muddy rivers of South-West Cameroon with the aim of finally establishing its existence. In that process, he encounters pygmies who claim to have seen the mythical creature at a nearby river. They describe it as a giant rhinoceros with the rump of a crocodile and the head of a snake.
Marie Voignier accompanied Michel Ballot on his tireless pursuit into a dimension where probability and legend co-mingle. As triggered by the concerns of a »white« scientist, the film becomes an essayist expedition into the mythological world of the natives. The encounters between the occidental, empirically motivated researcher on the one hand and the pygmies on the other challenge the viewers to pose vital questions about faith and truth. Does the mokélé-mbembé really exist and is the question in any way relevant?


MARIE VOIGNIER lives and works in Paris as an artist. Following her studies, she spent several years in Berlin before enrolling at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon. It was there she produced her first video films for which she received awards at various festivals – including the Cinéma du Réel in Paris and the FID in Marseille. She went on to present her Hearing the Shape of a Drum at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2010. That year, she also gave her first solo exhibition at the Galerie Marcelle Alix in Paris. In addition to her art and film work, Ms Voignier teaches graphic and video art at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon.


Films by Marie Voignier
Hearing the Shape of a Drum 2010 | Hinterland 2009 | Des trous pour les yeux 2008 | Au travail 2008 | Un minimum de preuves 2007 | Le bruit du canon 2006 | Western DDR 2005 | Les fantômes 2004


Saturday, 21 April 2012, 3 p.m., Filmpalette, Ticket

Marie Voignier