Henri Rousseau-Jungles in Paris
French artist Henri Rousseau (1844 1910) has often been considered a naive painter, but his work was much admired by Pablo Picasso and other members of the Parisian avant-garde. Despite Rousseau s ravishing depictions of jungle scenes, he never went beyond France s borders. His jungles were creative reworking of images culled from the popular press and visits to the zoos and botanical gardens of Paris. This film examines Rousseau s career in the context of the French obsession with the exotic in the later nineteenth century during the nation s colonial expansion. Drawing on rare archival footage, photos, and ephemera from the period, the film also features present-day footage from Rousseau s Parisian jungles the parks, gardens, and greenhouses that fueled his imagination and interviews with contemporary scholars.