Fr : version française / En: english version

mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Quest for Fire

Georges Denola

© Pathé Gaumont Archives

View this work in the exhibition Fire

The work

The Belgian writer J. H. Rosny—the pseudonym of Joseph Henri Honoré Boex, born in 1856 in Brussels and deceased in 1940 in Paris, was a true forerunner of science fiction. Broadly versed in the sciences, the writer produced a body of fantasy fiction comprising futuristic and prehistoric tales that were actually less concerned with science than with exploring the future of the human race. In that respect, they were quite different from Jules Verne's work. La Guerre du feu, published in 1911, recounts the efforts of a prehistoric tribe to recover its lost fire. The book was first made into a movie three years later, by the actor and director Georges Denola. Released 70 years before the version directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, the black-and-white silent film gives us a Belle Epoque version of prehistory.