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Blueberry (Blueberry: L'expérience secrète) is a Frenchmarker movie adaptation of the popular Franco-Belgian comic book series Blueberry, illustrated by Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) and scripted by Jean-Michel Charlier. It is very loosely based on the comic (so much so that the late Charlier's family disowned the film ) and adds in mystical and shamanic elements not present in the source material of interest to the movie's director, Jan Kounen. The film starred the French star Vincent Cassel as the title character along with Michael Madsen and Juliette Lewis. Although the film is a French production, the language of the film is in English because the story is set in America's Wild West in the 1870s. Since the character of Blueberry remains obscure in the States, the film was released on DVD in America in November 2004 under the title Renegade and marketed very much as a conventional Western.

Plot

U.S Marshal Mike Donovan (Vincent Cassel) (referred to as Broken Nose by the native tribe; unlike in the comic he does not have the nickname Blueberry) has dark memories of the death of his first love. He keeps peace between the Americans and the natives who had temporarily adopted and took care of him. The evil actions of Blount, a "white sorcerer" lead him to confront the villain in the Sacred Mountains, and, through shamanic rituals involving native entheogen, conquer his fears and uncover a suppressed memory he would much rather deny.

Cast

Actor Role
Vincent Cassel Blueberry
Juliette Lewis Maria
Michael Madsen Wallace Sebastian Blount
Temuera Morrison Runi
Ernest Borgnine Rolling Star
Djimon Hounsou Woodhead
Hugh O'Conor Young Mike
Geoffrey Lewis Sullivan
Nichole Hiltz Lola
Kateri Walker Kateri
Vahina Giocante Madeleine
Kestenbetsa Kheetseen
Tchéky Karyo Uncle
Eddie Izzard Prosit
Colm Meaney McClure


Behind the Scenes

Jean Giraud, the famous Franco-Belgian comics creator and the illustrator of the original Blueberry comics, appears in a cameo role in the film, while Geoffrey Lewis, who had appeared in several Spaghetti Westerns and his daughter Juliette Lewis play a father and daughter in the movie.

The movie features several elaborate psychedelic 3D computer graphics sequences as a means of portraying Blueberry's shamanic experiences from his point of view. Jan Kounen, the director of the film, drew upon his extensive first hand knowledge of ayahuasca rituals in order to design the visuals for these sequences, Kounen having undergone the ceremony at least a hundred times with a Shipibo language speakers in Perumarker. An authentic Shipibo ayahuasca guide appears in the film and performs a sacred chant. In the film, the exact nature of the entheogenic sacramental liquid which Blueberry (and his enemy, Blount) drink remains undisclosed. During the final visionary scene, however, there is a bowl of leaves shown accompanied by a twisting vine which is probably the ayahuasca vine,Banisteriopsis caapi. Historically, Native American living in the Southwest United States, would have had no geographic access to ayahuasca.

Peyote is shown growing in the sacred areas throughout the film, and the buttons are prominently displayed at the end, although we cannot be sure what Rumi offers to the Marshall either time.

See also



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