The Strange Story of Prince Dethmer

The strange story of Prince Dethmer

Corto Vaclav, Hadrien La Vapeur

In a popular neighborhood of Brazzaville, Prince Dethmer, a famous Congolese dancer, has just died. His family organises his burial, inviting all of his artist friends to pay him their final tribute.

2017
22 minutes
HD, Color

Directors

An anthropologist trained in Nanterre, Corto Vaclav discovered the work of Jean Rouch and developed a passion for Africa and its cinema. He approached the Ethnographic Film Committee, where he worked for two years in a row, allowing him to establish many relationships within this world of explorer-filmmakers whose stories fascinate him. There he met Hadrien La Vapeur, who was looking for a soundman to go to the Congo. Very quickly, his journey transformed into an initiatory and protean exploration. The partners then decided to found the multimedia collection Expedition Invisible to manage their different works.

After working as an assistant to French director Philippe Garrel for ten years, Hadrien La Vapeur started directing his own experimental films in Super 8. At the same time, his photographic work led him to explore abandoned places in search of forgotten presences. In 2009, as he pursued his quest for uncultivated buildings in Rio de Janeiro, he landed by mistake in a possession ritual. This encounter with the spirits upsets his vision of the world and urges La Vapeur to investigate the relationships that humans can maintain with invisible entities. In 2013, he went to Congo, where men live daily with disembodied beings, in order to immerse himself in this reality and shoot documentaries in the style of direct cinema.