Movie directed by Jean Rouch, writing credits : Jean Rouch, production : Films de la Pléiade, Solaris distribution, cinematography : Jean Rouch, Louis Miaille, Roger Morillières, sound : Michel Fano, cast : Nadine Ballot, Denise, Elola, Jean - Claude, Nathalie, Raymond, Baka, Andry, Dominique, Alain, (1961), 90 mn.
"The human pyramid" results from an experience made by the French film director Jean Rouch between 1956 to 1959 at the Abidjan French highschool (Ivory Coast). Rouch inspires himself with an African proverb who says that "If you know the qualities of someone you only know him but if you know his defaults you really like him" for shooting some young adults during summer vacations in an international context leaded by usprisings in the racist South Africa of that time. Looking for a truth picture like the French new wave film directors Rouch uses a small camera and filmes the actors face to face. The synchronised sound made with some microphones hidden near the actors gives also more intensity to the dialogs. Rouch show us the questioning of 10 Black and White young adults about what they are, about their relationships, about their identities. The arriving of Nadine among this groupe appears as the beginning of that story because she doesn't hesitate to go to the other for sharing dreams or love. Like the film director Jean Rouch has admited something happens during the shooting because young adults belonging to differents backgrounds have met them and learn how to know each other. These young adults must build their own story but it will be deeply influence by this summer vacation experience.