Thomas Matusiak, “A Jaguar in Paris: Teo Hernández’s Shamanic Cinema”

Teo Hernández (Ciudad Hidalgo 1939–Paris 1992) began a prolific career as
an experimental filmmaker after entering a self-imposed exile in Paris in 1966.
With no formal training, he completed dozens of films on the amateur format of
Super 8 before his untimely death at the height of the AIDS epidemic in France.
Hernández’s cinema cannot be separated from his postcolonial experience as an
undocumented immigrant in Europe. Based on his audio-visual and written work, this article examines how the filmmaker elaborated a unique film theory grounded in an auto-ethnographic appropriation of primitivist tropes. Through this queer exilic cinema, Hernández crafted an authorial persona around the figure of a shamanic filmmaker. I take the films Nuestra senõra de París/Our Lady of Paris (Hernández 1981–82) and Pas de ciel/No Sky (Hernández 1987) as a point of departure to examine the construction of a cinematic ritual capable of inducing trance in the body of the spectator and the filmmaker.


Nuestra señora de París (Hernández 1981–82)

Pas de ciel (Hernández 1987)


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