Chez les indiens sorciers


Belgium / 1934 / French with Spanish and English subtitles / 44

  • Director 

    Marqués de Wavrin

  • Screenplay: 

    Marqués de Wavrin

  • Photography: 

    Marqués de Wavrin



Filmed by Marqués de Wavrin in the early twentieth century, Chez les indiens visits a series of indigenous Colombian tribes, from Guajira and El Chocó to Sierra Nevada, Los Llanos and the Andes. Engagingly narrated by Marqués himself, this is much more than an ethnographic study. It is with a mixture of respect and awe that the director observes works of engineering that take the form of bridges, fauna and especially healing rituals, dances and funeral ceremonies. This was the first time a Westerner ventured into the territories of these ethnic peoples, who were mostly misunderstood by the outside world. In fact, some scenes were censured for years because they were thought to be too shocking, erotic or brutal, but have now been included at the end of the film. An exploration of remote parts of Colombia on the back of a mule, guided by a passionate man with a passion.



Marqués de Wavrin

The marquis is an ethnologist-explorer, pioneer of Belgian cinema. From 1913 to 1937, he explored South America, studying Indian tribes. He fully funded his explorations with his personal fortune which gave him a great deal of freedom in his research. He comes from one of the oldest families in the former county of Flanders.