Statues Also Die


Les statues meurent aussi (1953)
Directors: Chris Marker, Alain Resnais
Runtime: 30 min

The narrator says in the opening sequence: “When men die, they become history. Once statues die, they become art. This botany of death is what we call culture.” This documentary makes an excellent analysis of the cold cruelty by which colonialism and imperialism destroyed the original art of Africa. They first enslaved and destroyed the civilization that created these objects and was able to comprehend them, they recognized only aesthetic properties of these artefacts, as if they exist only to entertain colonizers, transformed them into exotic souvenirs and further degraded them by turning them into mass produced commodities made to be sold on bazaars. Due to the harsh criticism of colonialism, the film was censored and almost the entire second half of the movie was banned. The full original version was publicly screened in France in 1968, fifteen years after it was made.

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