Biography

Filmography - directed

Filmography - produced

Filmography - written

From the Flanders (i) magazine

The Dance Of Death

Snake Dance is a story of two men in the New Mexico desert. One was a cultural theorist and art historian who went mad during the aftermath of the First World War. The other was a physicist… and he was the father of the atomic bomb. Aby Warburg (1866-1929) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) can be seen as twisted reflections of one another: brilliant, cultured polymaths. One believed fervently in the healing powers of ritual, the ‘snake dance’ of the New Mexican Indians. The other, whether wittingly or not, unleashed the forces of destruction.

Manu Riche: Belgian documentary maker - portrait

Belgian documentary maker Manu Riche first met English writer Patrick Marnham when he was making The Man Who Wasn’t Maigret (2003), a documentary about the pipe-smoking, sex-obsessed Belgian crime novelist, Georges Simenon, the creator of Inspector Maigret. Marnham’s biography of Simenon was the inspiration for Riche’s film, scripted by Steve Hawes. Marnham himself appeared on camera in the doc.

After this initial collaboration, Riche and Marnham were eager to work together. Riche was keen at the time to make a film about Congo. Marnham was busy trying to write a book about Oppenheimer, a project he eventually shelved after he had a disagreement with his US publisher and discovered that three other books on the same subject were in the work. In Snake Dance, we see him making contact by phone with Oppenheimer’s reclusive son Peter, who seems fascinated by the project but is too wary to want to appear on camera himself.

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Published on Thursday 9 February 2012

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