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Les Amants de l'aventure
© Nestor productions
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Ce film propose de faire revivre le moment unique de la naissance du cinéma documentaire, d’en restituer l’émotion, le souffle, mais aussi les questionnements, à travers une de ses figures exemplaires : celle du couple Martin et Osa Johnson.
Commandités par le museum d’histoire naturelle de New York et soutenus par Georges Eastman, l’homme de Kodak, ils fixeront sur pellicule, durant plus de vingt ans, les dernières splendeurs d’une Afrique sauvage, et, au mépris du danger, saisiront des images extraordinaires de la faune dans son habitat naturel : gorilles, éléphants, rhinocéros...
Un destin hors du commun qui permet de redécouvrir la magie éphémère de ces instants pionniers.

Today unknown to the general public, Martin Johnson was one of the pioneers of documentary film and photography in the first half of the twentieth century. Together with his wife Osa, who became at once his partner and the heroine of his movies, Martin Johnson’s life reads like a novel, equal to that of the greatest of adventurers.
Always after the more striking image, the Johnsons started by exploring the South Seas in search of cannibals and head-hunters.
Later, financed by New York’s Museum of Natural History, they spent nearly fifteen years recording on film the magnificience of Wild Africa.
Heedless of danger, they captured thousands of stunning images of wildlife in its natural habitat (lions, gorillas, elephants, rhinoceros...), as well as the great tribes of eastern regions of the “Black Continent” (Masaï, Kikuyu, Rendille...).
The were the first ever to bring back aerial views of Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro. We also owe them the first ever spoken film shot entirely in Africa, “Congorilla”, with the Pygmies of the Ituri forest.
After a last expedition along the Kinabatangan River in Borneo, Martin Johnson died in a commercial flight crash, in the United States, on his way to a conference.
This movie follows the extraordinary life of Martin and Osa Johnson, “Lovers of adventure” who, in the first half of the twentieth century, opened the eyes of millions of Americans to a world unknown.

Distinctions
  • 2001 : Images en bibliothèques - Paris (France) - Film soutenu par la Commission nationale de sélection des médiathèques