Initiation into the New Myth: Primitivism and Poetics in the Surrealist Documentary Film

  • Kristoffer NohedenEmail author


This chapter traces the manifestations of surrealist myth and magic in the surrealist documentary short films L’Invention du monde and Quetzalcoatl, le serpent emplumé . The films were made by Jean-Louis Bédouin and Michel Zimbacca, with narratives written by the poet Benjamin Péret. The chapter places the films in relation to the surrealist contribution to the documentary film, and discusses how they bring a surrealist poetics into play with a primitivism reformulated under the influence of surrealism’s search for a new myth and an intensified exchange with surrealism’s non-Western others. Caribbean surrealists, including Aimé and Suzanne Césaire, and the surrealist occultist Pierre Mabille are significant names in this development.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media StudiesStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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