Best Documentary Movies of 1897
Japanese Sword Fencing
The earliest surviving Japanese film showing the martial art of kendo.
Giant Coal Dumper
“Shows how a full carload of coal is loaded onto a vessel every thirty seconds at the great Erie Railroad Docks, Cleveland, Ohio. Great clouds of coal dust rise as each car is unloaded.”
"Two German anglers are fishing, with odd results. One gets a bite, and pulls in a length of stovepipe. The other is so astonished that he falls overboard."
Mr. Edison at Work in His Chemical Laboratory
“This film is remarkable in several respects. In the first place, it is full life-size. Secondly, it is the only accurate recent portrait of the great inventor. The scene is an actual one, showing Mr. Edison in working dress engaged in an interesting chemical experiment in his great Laboratory. There is sufficient movement to lead the spectator through the several processes of mixing, pouring, testing, etc. as if he were side by side with the principal. The lights and shadows are vivid, and the apparatus and other accessories complete a startling picture that will appeal to every beholder.” (Edison Catalog)
99ème régiment d'infanterie: assaut du portique
A regiment of soldiers demonstrate their skills.
Belfast: Queen's Bridge
Another critically acclaimed Lumiere street scene.
Paris, cortège du boeuf gras: Char du prince du carnaval
A woman in a white gown performs a skirt dance, using her arms to produce circles and other patterns within the folds of her costume. Her legs and feet appear to be bare. (Library of Congress)
Beyrouth, place des canons
Beirut: place cannons.
African men dance, sing and play instruments.