The other film featuring the Ainu people in 1912 is entitled Un peuple qui disparaît, les Aïnos (aka The Hairy Ainos) and was produced by Pathé Frères Company, which had bought the cinematograph patents in 1902 and succeeded the Lumière brothers in the production of actulités. Very soon, Société Pathé Frères became the biggest film production company of the time, and in 1909, it established headquarters in Japan. Un peuple qui disparaît, les Aïnos, which only lasts for three minutes, begins with four men followed by four women posing before a chise and an intertitle explaining that the Ainu were mainly hunters and fishers. In the next scene, a woman and a child are seen walking with the sea in the background and afterwards, two men enter scene on a chip (Ainu canoe). […]
When Un peuple qui disparaît, les Aïnos was released, the astonishment produced by primitive cinema was already overcome. Pathé film demonstrated an interest to move away from ritualized traditions and a willingness to get closer to everyday chores. Unlike previous actuality films, this footage does not contain traditional dances or other distinctive elements depicted by Girel. Instead, the sequence features a woman and her child before a dilapidated hut; a wide shot framing an elderly man who does not wear the ceremonial clothes nor any raunpe on his head, and his beard can be hardly seen.
Centeno Martín, Marcos
“Gazes outside the Representation. Early Film Portrayals of the Ainu People (1897-1918)”,
Orientalia, issue 17, 2017, pp. 189-211