Mondo Cane forms the key to the explanation of the interest for the sensational 'true story', whether that is an obscure performance video in which the artist wounds and deforms himself, or 'here-and-now' television pictures of disasters and wars. The suffering and the bizarre nature of the other confirms our ordinariness and normality in a reassuring way. This makes the films of Gualtiero Jacopetti very controversial, then and now.Jacopetti's approach in this film is encyclopedic: he gave a large number of professional cameramen the job of recording in a documentary way all over the world cruel, strange and sick situations on the most beautiful and the best film stock that was available. So many shocking pictures, so beautifully colourful and in sharp focus, no one had seen anything like it. Some critics thought that Jacopetti was a moral visionary who showed the present shame of the world sharply and sincerely. Others accused him of exploitation of the customs of other peoples and cultures (what is now known as political incorrectness, something that Jacopetti makes even more problematic now). The Dutch novelist and first director of the Dutch Film Academy Anton Koolhaas, called Mondo Cane a 'morbid shop-window', a 'perverted panopticum', a 'fascist mockery of other races' and a 'villainous exploitation of suffering and blood'. Judge for yourself. Look at this crazy and cruel world and make up your own mind. (GjZ)

Filmmaker
Gualtiero Jacopetti
Premiere
-
Country
Italy
Year
1963
Medium
16mm
Length
105’
Language
English
Producer
Gualtiero Jacopetti
Writer
Gualtiero Jacopetti
Editor
Gualtiero Jacopetti