Robert Gardner, 16mm, 58mins. (1981)
Deep Hearts is Robert Gardner’s film about the Bororo Fulani, a nomadic society in Niger. Immensely beautiful, the Bororo are extremely envious of each other’s looks.
They are particularly fearful of being “devoured” by both the eyes and mouths of those around them. The film depicts the Gerewol, an occasion during the rainy season when two different and competing lineages come together at a watering place to choose the most “perfect” Bororo male.
It is close to being a physical and moral beauty contest in which the winner, selected by a maiden of the opposing lineage, is acclaimed the “bull.”
Gardner seeks also to let this ceremony of the Bororo be a way of speaking to the larger question of choice itself, something which confronts all human beings at all times.
Distributed by Documentary Education Resources, Watertown, MA.