The Shape of Darkness

An Exploration of African Art

A haunting, poetic quality pervades this vast panorama of African art, which took two years of preparation and then nine months of filming by two camera teams to draw together. Region by region, the development of civilization and art is explored through art objects used in the daily life of the people. Masks and ceremonial objects were filmed in remote parts of Africa where the authentic dances still take place.

African dance under European influence is rapidly losing its true form and meaning, so this film is a rare and notable record. Sections concentrate on the Nok culture of Northern Nigeria, the Sao people of the Chad, Ife and Benin, the Island of Goree, the Bawongo tribe, the Ivory Coast, the Abomey in Dahomey, the Senufo tribe, the Bamileke tribe (with dancers belonging to the Kanze Secret Society), the Dogon of Sudan, Batouffan Camaroons and Senegal.


Director/Narration: Max-Pol Fouchet:

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Catalog number #85AB

52 minutes Monochrome

Age Range: 12 to Adult

Closed Captions and Interactive Transcript

48hr Streaming Access

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Film Located in: 3. Africa | Africa