L'hypothèse du Mokélé-Mbembé

Marie Voignier

South-eastern Cameroon. A French zoologist investigates stories from pygmies about a prehistoric monster. For years, he has crossed the jungle back and forth looking for the unknown animal: the Mokélé-Mbembé, partly rhinoceros, partly crocodile, partly snake. His quest guarantees many humorous moments.

The Loch Ness monster, the abominable snowman, Bigfoot: they exist in myths, sagas and legends. Deep in the jungle in the south-east of Cameroon, the French zoologist and explorer Michel Ballot has for years been looking for proof of the existence of another such mythical being, the Mokele-Mbembe. It's like a rhinoceros with the tail of a crocodile and the head of a snake - at least that is how the pygmies describe this giant dinosaur, which apparently can even change its shape.
In this occasionally comic documentary essay, Ballot turns out to be a tenacious investigator, who cross-examines the local population keenly and wants to install cameras to capture the Mokele-Mbembe. The French filmmaker Marie Voignier follows him without commentary, adding mystery to her portrait.
Is the Mokele-Mbembe pure fiction, or does he perhaps really exist? Or is that question completely irrelevant and does the film show the confrontation between the empirically inclined Westerner and the pygmies, for whom tradition counts?

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