Note: Some streaming titles can only be licensed for three or five years at a time. Check with the Anthropology Librarian to ensure the title is still available when needed for your course.
Rasāʼil lam tuktab = Unwritten letters. Alrahman Dukmak, Abd (2020).
Abd is a 24-year-old Syrian who took part in the early days of the 2011 revolution and now lives in Padova, Italy. Together with his German friend Max he is working on a film called Unwritten letters. As they work together on turning Abd's reality in Italy into a film, Abd revisits his past and explores possible futures. The film documents the story of a young Syrian man arriving in Europe and the process of making sense of who he is through film and friendship.
Island Road. Artily, Francescu (2019).
The Isle de Jean Charles is found on the Bayou, in southeast Louisiana. The location is currently inhabited by descendants of Choctaw, Biloxi, and Chitimacha Native American tribes representing fifty residents or so. Since the 18th century, fishing has been the community's means of sustenance. This strip of land, however, is slowly disappearing due to rising water levels, a combination of hurricanes, industrial encroachment and overall climate changes.
The absence of apricots. Asadi Faezi, Daniel, - (2021).
In the Hunza Valley in the northern Pakistan, there is a magnificent turquoise lake. But the lake hasn't been always there: it is the result of a massive landslide that blocked a river, causing massive floods which immersed fields and entire village. Thousands of people got dislocated and had to look for different places where to live. All that remain are memories, passed to the new generation in stories. The film surveys this haunted landscape, sketching everyday life of its inhabitants, as it is interwoven with memory, myth, and loss.
Boycott. Bacha, Julia (2021).
When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across 33 states in America. The film traces the impact of state legislation designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. A legal thriller with 'accidental plaintiffs' at the center of the story, the film is a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation and an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech.
Rock in the red zone. Bialis, Laura (2014).
On the edge of the Negev Desert, Israel established the city of Sderot in the 1950s as a transit camp for immigrants from Arab countries, followed in the 1980s by Ethiopians. Working in factories, the immigrants lived far from the dreams of Jerusalem that had sparked their journeys. Ariel Sharon's 2005 initiative to have Israel disengage from Gaza left nearby Sderot vulnerable to frequent close-range Qassam rocket bombings. Amidst casualties, maimed neighbors and crumbling buildings, Sderot's youth found expression for both their anger and their hope in rock music. To western beats, they wrote lyrics--first in English, then in Hebrew--fusing Middle-Eastern melodies to create a unique sound. Bomb shelters became music clubs ... Filmmaker Laura Bialis arrived in Sderot in 2007 for a three-week stay to document the rock music scene. Two months later, she returned to live there. In the midst of near-constant visits to Sderot's ubiquitous bomb shelters, Bialis found a community, love and a new family. She documents Sderot's efforts to gain attention from Israel's large cities, long before the summer of 2014, when longer range Qassam rockets reached them, too. Bialis' music-infused film is an ode to both a musical movement and to its source.--Jewish Film Institutute website.
First contact. Connolly, Bob (1983).
Recounts the discovery of a flourishing native population in the interior highlands of New Guinea in 1930 in what had been thought to be an uninhabited area. Inhabitants of the region and surviving members of the Leahy brothers' gold prospecting party recount their astonishment at this unforeseen meeting. Includes still photographs taken by a member of the expedition and contemporary footage of the island's terrain.
Mustang. Ergüven, Deniz Gamze, - (2015).
This **Oscar**-nominated drama follows five free-spirited sisters in a Turkish village. While playing innocent games with their friends, a neighbor passes by and reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls' family. The family overreacts, removing all 'instruments of corruption,' like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides. As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate. The fierce love between them empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they can determine their own lives in this powerful portrait of female empowerment.
Ayouni. Fedda, Yasmin (2021).
Noura and Machi search for answers about their loved ones-- Bassel Khartabil and Paolo Dall'Oglio, who are among the over 100,000 forcibly disappeared in Syria. Faced with the limbo of an overwhelming absence of information, hope is the only thing they have to hold on to. 'Ayouni' is a deeply resonant Arabic term of endearment, meaning 'my eyes' and understood as 'my love'. Filmed over 6 years and across multiple countries in search of answers, Ayouni is an attempt to give numbers faces, to give silence a voice, and to make the invisible undeniably visible.
Alam laysa lana = A world not ours. Fleifel, Mahdi, - (2012).
A world not ours is a passionate, bittersweet account of one family's multi-generational experience living as permanent refugees. Now a Danish resident, director Mahdi Fleifel grew up in the Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, established in 1948 as a temporary refuge for exiled Palestinians. Today, the camp houses 70,000 people and is the hometown of generations of Palestinians. The filmmaker's childhood memories are surprisingly warm and humorous, a testament to the resilience of the community. Yet his yearly visits reveal the increasing desperation of family and friends who remain trapped in psychological as well as political limbo--PBS website, viewed March 3, 2016.
Forsaken fragments. Gardner, Robert (2020).
This collection of short films and 'uncompleted' fragments made by renowned filmmaker Robert Gardner spans his life and career, and reflects his interests, from ethnography to the art world. Though presented as a set, the pieces stand on their own as riveting cinematic experiences, offering insight into Gardner's personality and curiosity.
Palimpsest of the Africa Museum. Groof, Matthias de (2019).
In 2013, the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Brussels (Belgium) closed for renovation. It is not only the building and the museum cabinets that are in need of renewal: the spirit of the museum has to be updated for our times. The process of decolonization leads to fierce discussions between museum staff and the group of Afro-descendent experts employed to advise on the process.
The condor & the eagle. Guerra, Clement (2019).
Four Indigenous leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian plains to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of 'Climate Justice'. This film documents the stories of these four well-known Native environmental spokespeople who are at the forefront of a perspective shift in the identity of their people, from forgotten voices to strong shared communities with the power to bring change to the entire world. Their path through the jungle takes them on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another--IMDb
Persistence. Huffschmid, Anne (2019).
Human bodies don't simply disappear. They were kidnapped, buried, broken into pieces. But they are also searched for, recovered, and if forensic experts achieve the unlikely, reconstructed as persons. These only return to their homes if they are identified as dead. An audiovisual journey through Mexico's landscapes of disappearance, between mass graves and fragments, affected families and forensic anthropologists. In search for the human that remains, against the odds.
For the Bible tells me so. Karlsake, Daniel (2007).
Discusses homosexuality and Biblical scripture, how the religious anti-gay bias is almost entirely based on a misinterpretation of the Bible, and more. Features interviews and stories of very normal, very Christian familes who have a gay family member.
Keepers of the faith. Kawanami, Hiroko (2013).
In the Sagaing Hills, 12 miles from the ancient capital of Mandalay are hundreds of pagodas, stupas, monasteries and nunneries which form a focal point of worship for Buddhism in Burma. In 1986 the filmmaker used to live for 15 months as a nun in the Thameikdaw Gaung nunnery. Some years later she is coming back for a visit in order to see what has changed. This is an intimate insight into the daily life of a nunnery as well a portrait of the monastic economy and its interactions with the society.
The violence of a civilization without secrets. Khalil, Adam (2017).
The unearthing of human remains, later known as Kennewick Man or Ancient One, reveals the culturally different approaches of indigenous tribes, anthropologists, and the United States government to the handling of human remains.
A Kali temple inside out. Kharel, Dipesh (2021).
Religious boundaries in India are not necessarily as sharp and antagonistic as news media lead us to believe. This film portrays everyday life inside and around a Kali temple in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Its central characters are a priest and three devotees, who show why this temple is so important to them. The film follows these characters through their daily routines at home, at the temple, and on their occasional visits to the holy places of other non-Hindu religious traditions. The film offers a counterpoint to assumptions about religious differences and shows a more complex relationship informed by mutual friendship and shared religious aspirations. As the priest says at the end of the film, 'God is one, the religions are made by humans.'
The medicine game. Korver, Lukas (2013).
Two brothers, Hiana and Jeremy thompson, from the Onondaga Nation, pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. In their culture, lacrosse is known as 'Deyhontsigwa’ehs,' and it was invented even before the earth existed as an entertainment for the creator. The brothers find that the obstacles in their way are frequent and daunting, but their love for the game, each other and thier family's unyielding determination, propels these young men toward their dream.
Uma. Llácer, Ana (2020).
Three indigenous communities in the Bolivian highlands fight to protect their water from diversion and contamination amid a national water crisis. UMA, the Aymara word for water, takes us on a journey from the tropical Andean glaciers and the highest navigable lake in the world to the mines of Oruro, and the vanished Lake Poopó. It is a women's story of displacement, resistance, and struggle for environmental justice. Filmed in 2015-2017.
Tindaya variations. Marrero-Guillamón, Isaac (2020).
The mountain of Tindaya (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands) is more than a mountain. It was a sacred site for the indigenous people of Fuerteventura; later, its rock was quarried and sold for ornamental purposes; more recently, it was the proposed location for a 'Monument to Tolerance' designed by renowned artist Eduardo Chillida. Today, goat herders and tourists cross paths on it. Marrero-Guillamon's explores the multiple meanings that coalesce and compete around this site, weaving images of activist, exhibitions, public talks, interviews with locals and computer simulations of the proposed Monument, against a background of tourism, post-crisis ruins and arid landscapes.
Dawnland. Mazo, Adam (2018).
For decades, child welfare authorities have been forcibly removing Native American children from their homes to 'save' them from being Indian. [As of 1974, at least 1 in 4 Native American children nationwide had been separated from their families]. In Maine, the first official 'truth and reconciliation commission' in the United States begins an unprecedented investigation. Dawnland goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body deals with difficult truths, questions the meaning of reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations--Container
Decolonising shorts. Mekonen, Solomon A. (2022).
Emails to my little sister: An autoethnographic exploration of 'becoming Black' in Berlin via Ethopia, exploring the historical and ongoing relationship between the West and Africa. New York, just another city: Brazilian Guarani filmmaker Patrícia Ferreira reflects on New York City and indigenous representation in dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History. Faces, voices: The film complicates any simple reading of a colonial photographic archive from Southern Nigeria and Sierra Leone that was collected between 1909 and 1915 by Northcote W. Thomas. Through a collaborative creative effort with contemporary multimedia artists The Light Surgeons, voices are added to mute photographs to produce multiple readings. Making worlds otherwise: An exuberant experiment in the ethnographic art of remix that gives new form to Miyarrka Media's project of yut̲a, or new, anthropology. Sound, images, colour, light, and deeply felt patterns of kinship and connection are used to draw once separate worlds into relationship. Rather than explaining Yolngu aesthetics, this work sets it alight on the screen.
Indian time. Morasse, Carl, - (2020).
Captured over a period of five years within 18 communities, INDIAN TIME is a personal and current portrayal of the 11 Aboriginal nations of Québec, where some forty people take turns speaking, allowing for exceptional encounters and immersing the viewer - eyes and heart - in this 'Indian Time'.
The war around us. Omeish, Abdallah (2013).
Tells the absorbing true story of the only two international journalists on the ground in Gaza during Israel's bombardment and invasion of the troubled Palestinian territory over a three-week period in 2008-9. Filmmaker Abdallah Omeish (Occupation 101) chronicles the experiences of Al Jazeera's Cairo-born, Arab-American Ayman Mohyeldin and Arab-British Sherine Tadros as they report from Gaza City throughout the devastating assault. With never-before-seen footage and gripping personal testimonies, the film bears witness to Israel's ongoing siege of Gaza in the wake of its withdrawal in 2005, and pays tribute to the power of journalism and friendship under conditions of enormous conflict and stress. The result is a deeply human glimpse into wartime reporting and life in one of the most besieged places on earth. Essential viewing for courses in journalism, media, and communication.
Honor thy mother. Ostrander, Lucy (2021).
Honor Thy Mother is the untold story of 36 Aboriginal women from Canada and Native women from tribes in Washington and Alaska who migrated to Bainbridge Island, the traditional territory of the Suquamish people, in the early 1940s. They came, some still in their teens, to pick berries for Japanese American farmers. Many, just released from the Indian Residential Schools, fell in love in the strawberry fields and married Filipino immigrants. Despite having left their homeland and possible disenfranchisement from their tribes, they settled on the Island to raise their mixed heritage (Indipino) children. The voices of the Indipino children, now elders, are integral in the storytelling of their mother's experiences marrying Asian men and settling in a distant land. They share their confusion of growing up with no sense of belonging in either culture and raised in poverty as the children of berry farmers, some with no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. In a post-World War II racist environment, they grew up in homes burdened with their father and mother's memory of the 227 Bainbridge Island Japanese Americans forcibly removed from their homes after President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19th, 1942. Brought to light, in the oral history interviews of the Indipino elders, is the effect that historical trauma has on children, more specifically children whose mothers survived Indian Residential Schools.
Non Western. Plancarte, Laura (2020).
This heartfelt account follows the relationship of a Native American man and an American woman to explore the intersection of cultural norms, gender and race.
Race. Pounder, C. C. H. (2003).
Episode one explores how recent scientific discoveries have toppled the concept of biological race. Episode two questions the belief that race has always been with us. It traces the race concept to the European conquest of the Americas. Episode three focuses on how our institutions shape and create race.
Mardi Gras. Redmon, David (2006).
A documentary that explores the production, consumption, and disposal of Mardi Gras beads. Follows 'The Bead Trail' backwards from Mardi Gras to the factories where the beads are made. When each group is shown images of the other, the cycle of misunderstanding goes a long way in explaining how the commodity chain is kept in place. Includes added post-Hurricane Katrina updates.
Pleasure. Schmitz, Julia (2022).
Come here come here: As a poetic manifesto for a more plural understanding of female sexuality, this associative film interweaves many theories, images, fantasies, memories and confusions drawn from popular culture, personal experience and experts. The film asks, who gets to produce sexual knowledge? How does one represent the unrepresentable? Motels: Have you ever been in a motel room with rounded beds, love chairs, colored lights and dancing poles? This film explores a prominent yet often overlooked aspect of Colombian culture through the memories and experiences of motel occupants. Oink!: An experimental research documentary offering a portrait of gay men who‚ in different ways‚ relate to the 'pig' sexual imaginary. It provides insight into their experiences of identity, masculinity, community, belonging, sexual pleasure and intimacy.
The war tapes. Scranton, Deborah; May, Robert; James, Steve; Bazzi, Zack; Moriarty, Michael; Pink, Stephen; Domey, Duncan (2021).
Straight from the front lines in Iraq, it is the first war movie filmed by the soldiers themselves. Steve is a wisecracking carpenter who aspires to be a writer. Zack is a Lebanese-American university student who loves to travel and is fluent in Arabic. Mike is a father and resolute patriot who rejoined the Army after 9/11. These soldiers captured over 800 hours of footage, providing a glimpse of their lives amid war. The result is a raw portrait of three men, and their families, as they face, and struggle to understand, their duty.
Unsettled. Shepard, Tom (2019).
UNSETTLED is a feature-length documentary revealing the untold stories of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution from their home countries and who are resettling in the U.S. The film follows four new arrivals, each of whom have escaped potential peril in their native countries for being different. They've landed in the purported 'gay mecca' of San Francisco, yet even there, building a new life in an adopted nation is a precarious undertaking. As new leadership in America continues to restrict immigrants and drastically cut the flow of refugees and asylum seekers, UNSETTLED sheds light on a group about which few people know. What are the costs persecuted immigrants pay for seeking refuge? And how are everyday Americans stepping forward to help those most in need?'--Film's website.
Unsettled. Shepard, Tom; Gilomen, Jennifer; Brzeski, Eva Ilona; Melland, Justin; Black, Andrew; Seely, Mike (2022).
UNSETTLED is a feature documentary that traces the untold stories of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution in Africa and the Middle East and are trying to resettle in the United States. Having escaped Islamic terrorist death threats in Syria, beatings by a homophobic father, and a nation devastated by war, Subhi finds his voice as a leader for refugee rights in the U.S. Lesbian couple Cheyenne and Mari flee brutal harassment in their native Angola to face uncertain asylum through the American immigration courts while pursuing their dreams of becoming musicians. Junior, a gender non-conforming gay man from the Congo, struggles to create a livelihood and secure basic housing while exploring a more fluid gender identity. While American volunteers and organizations work to provide much needed legal and financial support, these individuals process past trauma and navigate the cultural and economic landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. UNSETTLED explores the challenges these immigrants face and honors their resilience, hope and determination.--Publisher's website.
The wanted 18. Shomali, Amer, - (2014).
During the 1987 Intifada, Palestinian Arabs living in the West Bank were required by law to purchase goods exclusively from Israeli vendors. The wanted 18 tells the story of a group of unlikely dairy farmers who surreptitiously procured cows for the production of milk, and managed to elude Israeli authorities by spiriting the cows from one secret location to another. Presented in live action and stop-motion animation.
Tote_grandfather. Sojob, María, - (2021).
Portrays an unexpected encounter between an old Tzotzil man, who is going blind, and his granddaughter María Sojob, who does not remember her childhood well. The granddaughter, having grown up in the city estranged from her grandparents, returns to visit Chenalhó, Mexico, her grandfather's village. While he weaves a traditional hat, the threads of family history unwind and are rewoven. In between silences and unspoken words, the renewed possibility of understanding the meaning of 'love' in Tzotzil opens up. This quiet story of intergenerational reconciliation within an indigenous Mexican community speaks to universal themes of love, gendered violence and forgiveness.
Crow Country. Spoonhunter, Tsanavi (2020).
This documentary ... enlightens its audience to one tribe's struggle to retain food security. The Crow Indian Reservation is the largest reservation in Montana, encompassing 2.2 million acres of land. There are approximately 8,000 Crow (Apsáalooke) tribal members who live there. In 2017, the Crow Agency laid off 1,000 of its 1,300 employees due to federal government cutbacks, ultimately straining tribal operations and leaving many families struggling to make ends meet. In 2019, the only grocery store on the reservation burnt down, and the owners are not planning to rebuild. For the Crow, the federal and tribal governments are both failing its people. The Crow Tribe -- like most tribes -- have been reliant on federal, tribal and non profit food distribution centers. As a result, tribal nations across the country are exploring the idea of 'food sovereignty,' the inherent right of a community to identify its own food systems. Returning to traditional and nutritious foods have been shown to be an effective way to restore Native food systems and create employment. However, restrictions on ancestral hunting grounds are preventing tribal members from providing for themselves and their families. [This film] tells the stories of three Apsáalooke tribal members: a journalist; an elder; and a hunter, as they try to address these issues, and focuses on their resilience despite the hardships that they face. -- Distributor's website.
Un nouvelle ère = Zou jin xin shi dai. Svartzman, Boris (2022).
In 2008, local authorities evicted 2,000 villagers from Guanzhou, a river island in Southern China, to make way for a new urban planning project known as the Guangzhou International Biological Island. In spite of the demolition of their houses and police pressure, a handful of inhabitants returned to the island. For seven years, Boris Svartzman filmed their battle to save their ancestral land, from the ruins of the village where nature is slowly reasserting itself, to the worksites of the mega city which inexorably advances towards them. Will they share the same fate of five million Chinese peasants expropriated yearly?
Eyes wide open = ʻEnayim peḳuḥot. Ṭabakman, Haim, - (2010).
Aaron, a butcher and devout family man in Jerusalem's ultraorthodox Jewish community, has his quiet life interrupted when Erzi, a handsome, young Yeshiva student, happens on his shop. Intrigued by the young man, Aaron offers Erzi a job and becomes his friend and mentor. The two grow closer, and soon other feelings surface. As their forbidden sexual desire grows, Aaron begins to neglect his business and his family. When Aaron and Ezri begin spending time together, Aaron is quickly ostracized within the Orthodox community. But guilt, torment, and pressure from the community lead him to make a radical decision.
Reassemblage. Trinh, T. Minh-Ha , - (1982).
A documentary and visual study of women and family in rural Senegal.
Suspension. Uribe, Simón (2019).
For decades, Colombian authorities have talked of building a bypass, a road that will replace the one currently known as 'the springboard of death.' ... [This film] captures some of the absurdities and contradictions that come with the decades-long effort to try and build a road through this part of the Amazon--an effort one engineer calls 'political madness.'--Container
Pride. Warchus, Matthew (2014).
U.K. gay activists work to assist miners during their extended strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
The doctrine of discovery. Wolfchild, Sheldon Peters (2015).
Based on two decades of research by Shawnee, Lenape scholar Steven T. Newcomb, this film tells the story of how little known Vatican documents of the fifteenth century resulted in a tragic global momentum of domination and dehumanization. This led to law systems in the United States and Canada and elsewhere in the world, that are still being used against Original Nations and Peoples to this day. The film concludes with traditional teachings developed over thousands of years that provide a much needed alternative for humans and the ecological systems of Mother Earth at this time.--IMDb.
A new collection of over 600 videos related to indigenous voices from publisher Alexander Street Press. Individual titles are also indexed in the library catalog.
"The role of the traditional ethnographer is changing as the perspectives and epistemologies of indigenous peoples have taken on central significance in the discipline, challenging earlier representations and implicit “us versus them” constructs. In order to create a platform for indigenous voices to address issues from indigenous perspectives, we have dedicated the third volume of the ethnographic film series to indigenous filmmakers.
This is the only academic collection in the world to offer such a comprehensive resource of documentaries, feature films and shorts made by and for indigenous people and communities. Topics are simultaneously local and global, with particular emphasis on the human effects of climate change, sustainability, indigenous and local ways of interpreting history, cultural change, and traditional knowledge and storytelling.
Content partners include: preeminent artists like Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Samoan ethnographer Galumalemana Steven Percival, native Hawaiian director Eddie Kamae, and First Nations filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin; distributors such as Vision Maker Media; and organizations like the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Indigenous Film Archive of Nepal, the Mexican Film Institute, and the National Film Board of Canada." [From publisher website].
"Ethnographic Video Online, Royal Anthropological Institute Teaching Edition is a curriculum-aligned collection of videos and segments curated to support the teaching of introductory anthropology courses. Each video and segment within this collection are accompanied by a teaching guide providing background information, lesson plans, and class room exercises and activities. There are a variety of themes that are discussed including family and kinship, gender roles, cultural identity, belief systems and other topics centered around diversity, change, and culture. All teaching material within this collection are created by the Education Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute." [From publisher website].
Sisters in law. Ayisi, Florence; Longinotto, Kim (2021).
A documentary of a courtroom in Kumba, Cameroon, where a female prosecutor and judge work to put an end to their community's tacit acceptance of child abuse, wife beating and rape.
Tara's footprint. Barreiro, Georgina (2018).
Tara's Footprint skilfully conjures the atmosphere of Khechuperi, a sacred village in the Himalayas in NE India, occupied by the Bhatia people. Eschewing standard exposition, we meet inhabitants in snatched vignettes and tableaux, gradually piecing together relationships and values that structure it. Creative expression emerges as central to daily life; here traditional Buddhist music interweaves with Bollywood movies to create a wonderfully hybrid artistic space. The younger generation receive our particular attention: a young man strides around purposefully in Levis, talking about tourism industry and politics; young boys looking a little bored in Buddhist school; young girls earnestly preparing dances for an upcoming talent show. Beautifully shot, Tara's Footprint leads its audience with the patience of an ethnographer towards understanding a community.
Fast trip, long drop. Bordowitz, Gregg (2016).
"In the spring of 1988, video-maker/activist Gregg Bordowitz tested HIV-antibody positive. He then quit drinking and taking drugs and came out to his parents as a gay man. This imaginative autobiographical documentary began as an inquiry into these events and the cultural climate surrounding them. While writing the film, a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and his grandparents were killed in a car accident. The cumulative impact of these events challenged his sense of identity, the way he understood his own diagnosis, and the relationships between illness and history"--Video Data Bank website.
Paani: of women and water. Burstin, Costanza (2018).
Against the bleached sky of Rajasthan, we encounter the women of a small Muslim village as they engage in their work. Here, water binds their daily labour rituals: they collect and carry water in massive urns, they clean plates and clothes with it, water their animals, and even maintain their homes with it (we see them churn mud to smear across their floors). A record of the ongoing cycles of women's labour ("we make food, we eat, we sleep, we wake up..."), their sense of humour and resilience, and the ways the community co-operate to deal with scarcity.
The angelmakers. Bussink, Astrid (2006).
A documentary video that reconstructs the arsenic murders that took place in the small Hungarian village of Nagyrév. The victims were all men, apparently killed by their wives.
In Aiye's Garden. Defersha, Eyob (2019).
In Aiye’s Garden is a film in the Guardians of Productive Landscapes series (editor Ivo Strecker). Enset, which is related to the banana plant, is very drought resistant and a good source of carbohydrates (in the stem and underground bulb). Enset has been farmed from time immemorial in the Gamo Highlands of southern Ethiopia, where women are the main cultivators. The film focuses on Aiye, the filmmaker's grandmother, who shares her knowledge about the enset plant, and shows how it is possible to produce good organic food by using simple farming tools and natural fertilizers. We see how she and a young kinswoman cultivate (using animal dung and organic waste to fertilize the plants), propagate (generating suckers from the corm), harvest (digging up the plant) and process (scraping and fermentating) the enset, and finally produce a variety of nutritious dishes.
Horror in the Andes. Dietrich, Martha-Cecilia (2019).
Horror in the Andes is a behind-the-scenes documentary that follows the process of making a horror movie in Ayacucho, Peru. Directed by audio-visual anthropologist Martha-Cecilia Dietrich, it explores how Andean filmmakers use the horror genre as a means to revive stories of a pre-colonial past. Appropriating a global cinematic language to tell local (hi)stories, our attention is drawn to contemporary social issues and the legacies of violent pasts. Infused with warmth and affection, Horror in the Andes pays testament to the craft of filmmaking and its community.
It was tomorrow. D'Onofrio, Alexandra (2018).
After living in Italy for almost ten years without documents, three Egyptian men - Ali, Mahmoud and Mohamed - are suddenly awarded legal residence. As a whole new world of opportunities opens up to them, they revisit the ports where they arrived in Italy as teenagers after hazardous journeys across the Mediterranean. Here, difficult memories are intertwined with fantasies about what could be, or could have been, and their possible new lives. Through creative collaborative filmmaking that weaves animation, theatre and storytelling with documentary images, we are able to delve deep into the memories and imaginations of these young men.
Oyate. Girmus, Dan (2020).
A time capsule of moments, feelings, gestures, and events that took place on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota during the summer of 2015. The narrative, pieced together from the daily activities of two Lakota families and a few other subjects, anchors the viewer among the rhythms and sounds of everyday life while sidestepping the kinds of negative, issue-based approaches that have so long dominated films set in native spaces. While not an outwardly politicized film, Oyate is a deeply political one; a film that represents a collection of seemingly commonplace occurrences (a conversation in the back of a truck, a group of young girls lighting off fireworks, a wedding reception) as deeply felt grasps toward purpose in an often difficult world.
Four sheets to the wind. Harjo, Sterlin (2007).
After his father's suicide, Cufe, embarks on a journey outside of his reservation to find a more fulfilling life.
Barking Water. Harjo, Sterlin (2010).
Frankie, a proud Native American, is attempting to reconnect with his estranged family. Released from the hospital, but still very ill, he hits the road with his ex-lover Irene, who acts as Frankie's nurse but refuses to offer forgiveness for his past indiscretions. As they travel through the sun-dappled country, they encounter various eccentric personalities. But his journey really begins when he reunites with his daughter and finally meets her newborn child.
This may be the last time. Harjo, Sterlin (2013).
Documentary about Native American music from Oklahoma-based filmmakers Sterlin Harjo and Matt Leach, focusing on the ceremonial music of the Creek Nation dating back to the early 19th century that combines Creek, Scottish, and African influences, and telling stories of members of the Creek Nation and the influence of music. As important as the Creek hymns are to American history and culture, their survival is in jeopardy.
Wives. Holtedahl, Lisbet (2017).
Alhajji Ibrahim is an Islamic scholar who has served as judge at the Sultanate of Ngaoundéré in Northern Cameroon for 46 years. The film follows Alhajji during the last years of his life, focusing on the relationships in a polygamous family. Living far away from urban centres, people like Alhaji and his family struggle to adapt to the arrival of modern education, their increasing marginalization, worsening poverty, and, in recent years, the constant threat of the Boko Haram insurgency. Shot over several years, Wives provides rare, intimate glimpses into the dynamics of a West-African polygamous Muslim family, and the challenges faced by an older generation whose norms and values are losing legitimacy in a rapidly changing environment.
A year in the field. Lanson, Dennis; Gmelch, George (2020).
This documentary follows Estonian anthropologist Joonas Plaan as he studies the impact of climate change in a Newfoundland fishing village. The film shows how cultural anthropologists carry out their research, revealing the value of long-term ethnographic fieldwork, particularly participant observation, the quintessential method of cultural anthropology. At first, Plaan struggles to gain acceptance among local people, some of whom suspect he is a Russian spy. Once he begins working alongside the fishers as a crew member on crab and lobster boats, however, he not only develops rapport but gains their respect and trust. By following Plaan, the film illustrates all the main elements of field research: from moving into a foreign community, learning the language, defining one's role, living as closely as possible to the ways of the locals, and recording their culture for a year or more.
Family and Subsistence in the Hills of Hamar. We are Guests of Shawa. Lydall, Jean; Strecker, Kaira (2019).
Kaira's childhood friend Shawa moved as a young widow with two sons to her present home in search of good land. Here she met Garombe and had four more children. We get close to each family member in scenes of daily life, starting with children milking cows at dawn. After taking grain by donkey to a distant flourmill, Shawa and daughters brew beer, which the sons drink when plowing the field. We learn how Shawa trained oxen to plow, and Garombe explains digging-stick cultivation is a thing of the past. He repairs the fence around his enclosure for plow-oxen and future fields. One son checks his beehive, cattle return home, children milk goats, and Shawa and girls prepare the evening meal.
Ballad on the Shore. Ma, Chi-hang (2017).
On the small isle of Tap Mun, the ocean breeze gently lifts up strands of grey hair on Lai Lin-shau’s head. He quietly sings in the characteristic tones of the fisherman’s ballads. Seemingly without rules, the pitch and tones alternate and repeat themselves as if they were synchronising with the ocean waves. Lai is one of the few people alive who knows the fisherman’s ballads intimately. None of his children experienced the harsh and unforgiving life at sea. They are not even aware of his priceless knowledge of the ballads. As the fishing community shrinks, old fishermen found new ways of life on land. One performs and teaches the ballads to young children; another uses the ballads to spread her Christian faith. The ballads have become a spiritual harbour for these landed fishermen. But deaths come brutally. Lai loses his listeners and his memory of the ballads. A precious part of him is dying.
The child's eye. MacDougall, David (2018).
The Child's Eye is the result of a five-year project conducted by David MacDougall that encouraged Indian children to explore their surroundings using video cameras. In six workshops held in different locations across India, children became active contributors in creating new knowledge, often on subjects they knew better than adults. Through the children's interests and keen observation, these films give us a unique child's-eye perspective on important aspects of modern Indian society. The workshops ran for 6 to 12 weeks each and involved children aged from 10 to 13. They came from a variety of class and religious backgrounds in both rural and urban locations, from New Delhi to Rajasthan, Kolkata to Ladakh. Organised as research projects, the workshops encouraged children to choose topics they considered important in their own families or communities. After several weeks of basic instruction in using video cameras, they began using them to explore their chosen topics, producing 24 films from which the 12 on this DVD were selected. The project offered the children a chance to investigate subjects that are often known only from an adult perspective, a remit they embraced with enthusiasm.
Even asteroids are not alone: an intergalactic ethnography. Magnússon, Jón Bjarki (2018).
Eve Online is a computer game in which players mine, trade and fight their way through computer-generated galaxies. Whilst computer game aficionados are often depicted as isolated, this game is deeply social: it is a "massive multiplayer game" that brings thousands of people together. Against the backdrop of the virtual gameworld, we hear the experiences of fourteen players from around the globe, told in their own voices. A warm testament to a community of trust forged in a virtual world far from our own.
Dancing grass: harvesting teff in the Tigrean highlands. Mitiku Gabrehiwot (2020).
Captures the communal harvesting of teff among Tigreans of Northern Ethiopia. Teff, an ancient indigenous grain, is central to the livelihood of smallholder farmers and may be called the 'cereal core' of Ethiopian national food identity. A local elder provides the commentary for the sequence of events that unfold in the homestead, fields and neighbourhood of the author's eldest brother and family: the cutting of the 'dancing grass'; the drying and stacking; the threshing and winnowing; then the sale of teff in the local market; off with a donkey to the mill; cooking enjera for family and guests; coffee drinking and blessing; and finally the Mesqel fire, an Orthodox Christian celebration at the end of the rainy season.
Night cries: A rural tragedy. Moffatt, Tracey (2007).
A fictional story in which a middle-aged Aboriginal woman resents the responsibility of caring for her old white mother. Her memories and dreams invade her routine until the old woman's mortality fuels the daughter's guilt and loss. Filmed entirely in a studio, with vibrantly colored sets and extremely creative use of ambient sound.
Nice coloured girls. Moffatt, Tracey (2009).
In this film excerpts from 16th century sailor's journals concerning sexual exploitation of native Australian women are transposed over current day scenes of prostitution trade among aboriginal native women.
A delicate weave. Monteiro, Anjali; Jayasankar, K. P. (2020).
A fascinating tapestry of four different musical journeys across Gujarat, India: we meet a group of men in Bhujodi who meet every night to sing the verses of 15th-century Indian mystic and poet Kabir; feisty women from Lakhpat, who quietly subvert gender roles through their music performances; Noor Mohammad Sodha, who plays and teaches exquisite flute music; and Jiant Khan and his disciples, whose love for the Sufi poet Bhitai is expressed through the ethereal form of Waee singing.
Atieno. Ndinya, June (2018).
Atieno is a collaborative fiction film scripted, acted and directed by DreamGirls, a group of adolescent girls and young women from Nairobi and Kisumu. The film tells of Atieno, a 16 year old girl from a sleepy fishing village. Family circumstances force her to go work for her aunt Bertha in Nairobi and send money home. In Nairobi, Atieno discovers that the job aunt Bertha has for her is working at a bar, where she gets harassed by the clients. She has a big fight with Bertha and moves out. She eventually does odd jobs for a living before she sets up a small business with her friends. The film is used by the organisation Community Media Trust as an educational outreach tool to facilitate discussions about HIV, transactional sex, and entrepreneurship. With the help of a facilitation guide, the audience is asked to discuss the film's open ended finale and to imagine how the characters will develop.
[Note: This film is available to Emory users for 3 years starting Fall 2021. If you are planning course integration for this film, please contact the Anthropology Librarian to ensure access]
Idealists thrive on the notion that a single person can change the world-but what basis does it have in reality? Is there room for it in an age of oppression and unrepentant brutality? This film profiles six people from different cultures and religions who, through small nonviolent actions, helped to overcome injustice. Ashin Kovida, a Buddhist monk now living in the U.S., reflects on his leadership of anti-government protests in Myanmar, formerly Burma. Maria Jesus Sanhueza, a young Chilean woman, describes her role in the Penguin Revolution which brought about government funding for education. And Christian Fuhrer, former pastor of the St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig, Germany, recounts the Monday Demonstrations and "Prayers for Peace" that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Equally compelling are former Olympian and Black Power advocate John Carlos, a young Chinese man called Nic who represents the fight against Internet censorship, and an Iraqi girl named Rania Ibrahim whose life was nearly cut short by a suicide vest.
This is my face (Esta es mi cara). Pino, Angélica Cabezas (2018).
In Chile, people living with HIV fear stigma, and they often conceal their condition and remain silent about what they are going through. This is My Face explores what happens when a range of men living with the virus open up about the illness that changed their life trajectories. It follows a creative process whereby they produce photographic portraits that represent their (often painful) memories and feelings, a process which helps them challenge years of silence, shame, and misrepresentation. A lesson in the power of collaborative storytelling.
Gather. Rawal, Sanjay (2020).
Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.
Wási. Ruíz, Sebastián Gómez; Chapparo, Amado Villafaña (2017).
As the sun rises on a village in northern Colombia, we glimpse its inhabitants as they begin their day. As the scene emerges from obscurity, a voiceover ruminates on the nature of sight. It is the voice of Arhuaco filmmaker Amado Vilafaña Chaparro, the co-director of Wási. He shares his thoughts on anthropologists like Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff and Robert Gardner, and the (mis)representations they produce. Ultimately he, and this film, affirm the power indigenous people can seize by taking up the camera themselves - becoming authors of their image and, so, authors of knowledge.
Welcome Valentine. Satija, Dhruv (2017).
In a temple dedicated to Hanuman in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, a priest flouts convention by marrying couples who are shunned elsewhere: mostly those who have eloped from families who disapprove of their union, but also, even more controversially, same-sex couples. A portrait of a staggeringly progressive and liberal institution, that counters the conservatism and orthodoxy found elsewhere in India’s religious communities.
The Women Weavers of Assam. Sharma, Aparna (2019).
The Women Weavers of Assam focuses on the craft, labour and the everyday lives of a group of women weavers in India’s northeastern state of Assam. The weavers belong to a non-profit collective called Tezpur District Mahila Samiti (TDMS), which was founded a century ago by women activists and Gandhian freedom fighters of Assam. The TDMS weavers preserve traditional motifs and methods of Assamese weaving, which have been declining since the introduction of mechanized cloth production in India. Montages of weaving blend with the weavers' accounts of their personal experiences, generating an evocative representation of the environment and the rhythms of TDMS, and the cultural significance of hand-weaving as a craft and industry in Assam.
Tie dao = The iron ministry. Sniadecki, J. P. (2018).
Traces the vast interiors of China on the move: flesh and metal, clangs and squeals, light and dark, language and gesture. Scores of rail journeys come together into one, capturing the thrills and anxieties of social and technological transformation. The film immerses audiences in fleeting relationships and uneasy encounters between humans and machines on what will soon be the world's largest railway network.
Abraham and Sarah: Creators of a Productive Landscape. Strecker, Ivo (2017).
In the highlands of Tigray - northern Ethiopia - on the edge of the escarpment that descends steeply to the Danakil dessert, Hagos Mashisho and Desta Gidey have toiled and struggled for years to turn the rugged slopes of the East African Rift Valley into fertile ground. They have grown crops here not only to feed themselves and their family, but also to share with others, in particular the pilgrims who regularly pass by on their way to the monastery of Gundagundo. Touched by the kindness of their hosts, the pilgrims have given them the biblical names "Abraham" and "Sarah". The film explores the work ethos and grace of these Tigrean farmers: the cheerful mood with which they do what needs to be done; the devotedness to the tasks at hand; the coordinated movements of humans and animals as they work when ploughing, sowing, harvesting, threshing; - and finally those moments of invocation when the dependence on nature and the transcendent are acknowledged. "Abraham & Sarah" is the first film in a series entitled "Guardians of productive landscapes" currently produced under the auspices of the Department of Integration and Conflict at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany. It can be seen as a contribution to an applied anthropology that tunes in with the rising awareness that rapidly increasing environmental degradation threatens the earth. Humanity is at the crossroads where life as we know it will soon collapse unless we muster all our ingenuity for inward and outward persuasion to find ways to overcome the current crisis.
Donna Haraway: story telling for earthly survival. Terranova, Fabrizio (2018).
[Note: This film is available to Emory users for 3 years starting Fall 2021. If you are planning course integration for this film, please contact the Anthropology Librarian to ensure access]
Features feminist thinker Donna Haraway in a playful and engaging exploration of her life, influences, and ideas. Best-known for her ground breaking work on gender, cyborgs, animals, and post-colonialism, Haraway is a passionate and discursive storyteller. The film is structured around a series of discussions on subjects including capitalism and the environment, science fiction as philosophy, the role of Catholicism in her upbringing, and the need for new post-colonial and post-patriarchal narratives.
Green bush. Thornton, Warwick (2014).
Every night, Indigenous radio announcer and DJ, Kenny, hosts the Green Bush show for Aboriginal communities. Isolated at the station, he takes requests for music, while at the same time coping with the pressure of the community around him. Based on his own experiences as a radio DJ in Alice Springs in central Australia, Warwick Thornton (later director of the award-winning feature, Samson and Delilah) made an international impact with this graceful and powerful short drama. At one level, the film explores the role of the media in Aboriginal communities where the radio station serves as both a physical gathering-place as well as providing a musical and verbal bond that connects disparate segments of the community. But through the story of Kenny, played by David Page, the film also comments quietly and effectively on concepts of manhood, leadership and community responsibility.
Rosalie's journey. Thornton, Warwick (2014).
Rosalie (Ngarla) Kunoth-Monks reflects on her childhood, growing up in the Utopia area in central Australia, and then at school at St Mary's in Alice Springs where she learnt English and went to Church. Despite her schooling, Rosalie retained fluency in her own language and maintained close ties to her country. When Charles and Elsa Chauvel came to Alice Springs looking for someone to play Jedda, they screen-tested many young women before settling on Rosalie. At that time, Rosalie had seen only one film, Joan of Arc, and had little awareness of what film-making involved. She talks frankly about her embarrassment in acting in scenes with a male actor, Robert Tudawali, and how her on-screen interaction with him conflicted with her traditional law. After Jedda, Rosalie withdrew from the film world and the public gaze, and went to Melbourne for several years, married and had children, before returning to live in Utopia.
Tnorala - baby falling. Thornton, Warwick (2014).
Tnorala is the Aboriginal name for Gosse's Bluff, a dramatic meteorite impact crater set in a vast plain 175km west of Alice Springs. This significant dreaming site for Western Arrernte people is steeped in mystery and tragedy. The story of its creation and the events that occurred there are narrated to the camera by Aunty Mavis Malbunka, one of the traditional story-tellers for the place. Legend says that while stars danced in the Milky Way, a child fell to earth and was lost to its parents, the morning and evening stars, who still search for their baby to this day. Today, ancestors of Tnorala's traditional owners are remembered and honoured by their descendants and visitors that are drawn to this stunning and eerie landscape. The film is another fine example of the outstanding documentaries that Warwick Thornton made for CAAMA before he went on to win international acclaim for this first feature, Samson and Delilah in 2009. His haunting cinematography of the awe-inspiring landscapes in and around Tnorala, together with a moody impressionistic music score, make this a remarkable and memorable film.
Sweet country. Thornton, Warwick (2019).
Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works for a preacher in the outback of Australia's Northern Territory. When Harry, a bitter war veteran, moves into a neighbouring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam's relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defence. As a result, Sam becomes a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man, and is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A hunting party led by the local lawman Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track Sam down. But as the true details of the killing start to surface, the community begins to question whether justice is really being served.
We don't need a map. Thornton, Warwick (2019).
The Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere. Ever since colonization it's been claimed, appropriated, and hotly-contested for ownership by a range of Australian groups. But for Aboriginal people, the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual. For them, the Southern Cross isn't a cross--it's a totem that's deeply woven into their spiritual and practical lives.
Burning daylight. Thornton, Warwick; Swain, Rachael (2015).
Burning Daylight is a dance/film project. The performance is set from late one night until dawn in a transit zone outside a notorious pub on a Broome-style Karaoke night. A series of contemporary dance scenes unfold expressing the friction, local humour and cultural collision in the streets at night in the part of Broome known as 'The Bronx'. Conceived by Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain., Follows the collaboration between Indigenous dancer and choreographer Dalisa Pigram and contemporary choreographer Serge Aime Coulibaly from Burkina Faso, West Africa, in the stage production of Burning Daylight.
Kalès. van Lancker, Laurent (2017).
A film of wind and despair, of fire and solidarity, of hope and hell. An intimate and inside perspective of the 'jungle' of Calais evoked through a polyphony of bodies, tales, and atmospheres. So familiar to us from news reports, van Lancker helps us see the "jungle" anew, providing an immersive, sensory journey through the social life and survival strategies of migrants. Shot on numerous visits during the entire duration of the 'jungle’s' existence, and often using a collaborative methodology - images and narrations are partly produced by the migrants - Kalès is a film that is both poetic and political; it is a visceral document to the everyday life of migrants, and their capacity for creating new social network and for adaptation.
Breaking the yard. Werbner, Richard (2018).
The film tells an intimate story of change from generation to generation in family life. It illuminates a murky impasse between families, when villagers, taking sides, tell the truth as many different truths or whisper with threats of scandal. It was shot in Botswana’s Moremi village with its awesome landscapes during the dramatic national patriotic celebration for Botswana’s 50th anniversary in 2016. The focus is on John, a church minister and a leading village elder, trained in settling disputes in the South African mines. John gets entangled in the troubled affairs of a quarrelsome young couple, a stay-at-home farmer and his police constable, town-savvy wife. They claim to be still in love. But when the husband confesses to adultery – ‘breaking the yard’ in Tswana terms – and the wife decides to fight for her rights in court, John finds himself in an awkward position. Even with his own bishop, he struggles to reach a good resolution. This remains uncertain, as arguments in the village’s customary court turn from adultery issues to putting his and other elders’ care for the couple into question.
Terror and hope: The science of resilience. Bourke, Ron (2020).
A story about children and war. It's about stress so severe and prolonged it can become toxic. It's about scientists and humanitarians working to provide hope in what can seem like a pretty hopeless world. And it's the story of courageous Syrian families raising their children in the face of violence and oppression - their past defined by terror, their future driven by hope.
Remittance. Daly, Patrick; Fendelman, Joel (2017).
Not unlike other domestic workers, Marie leaves behind her children and unemployed husband for Singapore in hopes of earning sufficient savings to eventually open a business in the Philippines. Yet, one hurdle after another confronts her including the deduction of eight months of her wages to cover the entire cost of her migration to Singapore and the squandering of her earnings by a womanizing husband.
Bending the arc. Davidson, Kief; Kos, Pedro (2017).
"A powerful documentary about the extraordinary team of doctors and activists - including Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl - whose work thirty years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all. Epic, yet intimate, the film is a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will to turn the tide of history." - http://edu.tugg.com/products/bending-the-arc.
Narritjin in Canberra. Dunlop, Ian (2018).
In 1978 Narritjin Maymuru and his son Banapana were awarded fellowships as Visiting Artists to the Faculty of Arts at the Australian National University in Canberra. For three months they and their families worked in their campus studio. In the film, Narritjin conducts a seminar for anthropology students. He explains his technique of bark painting and discusses some of the meanings behind the paintings. At the end of their stay in Canberra, Narritjin and Banapana hold an exhibition of their Manggalili art. Some see the official opening as typical of any art gallery opening night; others may feel a certain ambivalence towards this strange cultural mix. However, for Narritjin, the occasion is simply another opportunity to present his message to a non-Indigenous audience. Furthermore, the exhibition itself establishes him and his son as significant artists within a wider Australian context.
Tigmmi n igran. Hadid, Tala (2018).
"House in the Fields examines the life of an isolated rural Amazigh community in the southwest region of the High Atlas Mountains. The thousand-year history of the Amazigh in Morocco has been, for the most part, recounted, preserved and transmitted by bards and storytellers in oral form among Tamazighi-speaking pastoral communities. Continuing this tradition of transmission in an audiovisual form, House in the Fields attempts to faithfully document and present a portrait of a village and community that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years despite being confronted by the rapidly changing sociopolitical realities of the country at large. The film follows the lives of certain villagers, most specifically two teenage sisters, one who must give up school to prepare for her wedding, and the other, who dreams of being a judge"--Container.
Crossing the line. Harrison, Kaye (2014).
Crossing the Line follows two young medical students from the University of Tasmania, Amy and Paul, as they leave their safe middle class environments for an eight week placement in the remote indigenous communities on Mornington Island. Here, for the first time, they confront the realities of indigenous health care. As they move beyond their professional roles at times, there is an ongoing tension between their personal experience and the professional distance they are supposed to maintain. This film offers a rare insight into the practical realities of providing Western medical services to indigenous communities and illustrates ways in which engagement can contribute to an improvement in the crisis in Aboriginal health today.
Measures of distance. Hatoum, Mona (1988).
Letters from a Palestinian woman living in war-torn Lebanon to her daughter, whom she has not seen for years, and a series of photographs of the woman, convey the effects of war and exile on personal and cultural life, and nuances of family relationships.
The price of everything. Kahn, Nathaniel (2017).
Exploring the labyrinth of the contemporary art world, the film examines the role of art and artistic passion in today's money-driven, consumer-based society. Featuring collectors, dealers, auctioneers and a rich range of artists, from current market darlings Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, to one-time art star Larry Poons, the film exposes deep contradictions as it holds a mirror up to contemporary values and times, coaxing out the dynamics at play in pricing the priceless.
Sons of Namatjira. Levy, Curtis (2014).
Sons of Namatjira examines the relationship between a community of Aboriginal artists and the outside world. Keith Namatjira is the son of the celebrated artist Albert Namatjira, and emulates his father's distinctive style. He lives with his family in the same camp that his father had established on the outskirts of Alice Springs in Central Australia. One of Curtis Levy's finest documentaries, Sons of Namatjira, follows Keith and his wife, Isabel, and other relatives, in their interactions with the wider world including art galleries in town and bus-loads of middle-aged tourists from the big cities. The film highlights communication difficulties between black and white, and in Levy's terms, becomes a parable of black-white relations in Australia. Tourists and dealers drive out to the artists' camp to bargain with the artists in person. Keith feels pressured to accept their offers but dreams that one day he will own his own gallery, so that his family can make a decent living from their work. In addition, Keith has other pressures: he has to go to court on a charge of drink-driving, whilst at the same time working with a legal-aid officer on a claim for the land they are living on. He and his family are worried that their land will be swamped by the urban development they can see closing in around them. This sympathetic portrait of a tiny community of Aboriginal artists is rich in Levy's characteristic humour and sense of irony. It was the last of Levy's films for AIAS before he returned to independent production, and remains one of the Film Unit's most widely seen works.
Angels are made of light. Longley, James (2018).
A dozen years after his Oscar-nominated Iraq in Fragments, American documentarian James Longley delivers a sweeping, profoundly compassionate group portrait of Afghan students and teachers still weathering national turbulence.The film follows students and teachers at a school in an old neighborhood of Kabul that is slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. Interweaving the modern history of Afghanistan with present-day portraits, the film offers an intimate and nuanced vision of a society living in the shadow of war.
Putuparri and the rainmakers. Ma, Nicole (2015).
A documentary about an Aboriginal man living in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia that maps out his ancestors' spiritual connection to the land and his family's continuing custodianship of it.
Familiar places. MacDougall, David (2000).
Follows the efforts of a group of Australian Aborigines and the anthropologist Peter Sutton as they map the traditional lands of an Aboriginal family that wishes to return to its homeland in northern Queensland, Australia. Explains the politics of this Aboriginal movement of re-homestead old territorial lands (called "outstations"), and illustrates many of the problems faced by the returning natives.
The house-opening. MacDougall, Judith; MacDougall, David (2011).
The house opening ceremony is a ritual purification following the death of an inhabitant. This film follows Geraldine Kawengka, widow of a recently deceased man, as the ceremony is prepared and carried out on the Aboriginal settlement of Aurukun.
Takeover. MacDougall, Judith; MacDougall, David (2012).
Presents an insider's view of events that followed an announcement made without warning on March 13, 1978, that the Queensland state government was taking over control of the Aboriginal community of Aurukun in the north of the State, displacing the Uniting Church which had managed the Aboriginal Reserve for 70 years. At the request of the community, filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall documented the events of the following weeks, as the community marshalled its supporters to resist the takeover, and a stream of lawyers, politicians, Church officials, government advisers and representatives of mainstream media arrived to talk with the Aboriginal Council and the community at large. Ostensibly driven by a desire to access the mineral wealth in the Aurukun area, the state government was resistant to modifying its position, but intervention from the Federal government forced a sequence of compromises, though not always with the community's knowledge or to their satisfaction., One of the major works produced by the AIAS Film Unit, this documentary observes the profound effect on an Aboriginal community of political and bureaucratic decisions made far away. Although specific to time and place, the film is timeless and universal in its observations of a conflict between an Indigenous minority and a powerful government.
Mahasona: The great cemetery demon documentary. Machin, Barrie (2019).
Exorcism in Sri Lanka (4:30); Mahasona Ritual Preparations (3:15); Invoking Buddha and Guardian Gods, Offerings to Ghosts (1:14); Healing Gestures (1:08); Invoking the Suniyam Demigod (1:05); Invocation Dances, Other Offerings, and Appeals to the Demons (3:12); Caralava (4:06); Head to Foot Poem (3:25); Death Time (1:53); Symbolic Sacrifice to Riri Yaka (3:31); Gathering Time Dance of Mahasona (3:06); Demonic Transformation and Possession (3:52); Midnight Watch: Enter Mahasona (6:06); Double Torch Presentation and Possession (6:07); Further Offerings and Appeals to the Demons (1:18); Poems and Procession to the God Mangara (5:13); The Appearance of the Hunter of Demons (1:44); Dahaata Sanniya the Appearance of the 18 Sanni Demons (4:41); Humor for Healing (9:58); Double Torch Presentation of the Demon (2:26); Mahasona Baliya Final Purification of the Patient, Last Homage to Buddha and the Guardian Gods (4:44); Credits: Mahasona: The Great Cemetery Demon Documentary (0:38);
Artists of Ali Curung. Nardoo, Robyn; Mulcahy, Shane (2015).
Opened in 2008, the Arlpwe Arts Centre and Gallery, in the town of Ali Curung, 350 km north of Alice Springs, provides a focus for the work of a diverse range of Indigenous artists. Artists such as Anita Dickson, May Nampijinpa Wilson, Judy Nampijinpa Long, Valerie Nakamarra Nelson and artefact maker Joe Bird, talk about their work as an expression of their link to their Country. Their art also represents a means whereby they can teach younger people in their community about Country, and also take their stories to a wider public. This delightful film shows the work of these artists, as they talk about their aspirations, intermingled with the dancing and ceremonies that marked the opening of the Arts Centre.
Graves without a name. Panh, Rithy (2020).
After The Missing Picture, Rithy Panh continues his personal and spiritual exploration of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge era. His earlier films, S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine and Duch: Master of the Forges of Hell, analyzed the mechanisms of the crime. Graves Without a Name searches for a path to peace. When a thirteen-year-old child, who lost the greater part of his family under the Khmer Rouge, embarks on a search for their graves, whether clay or on spiritual ground, what does he find there? And above all, what is he looking for? Spectral trees? Villages defaced beyond recognition? Witnesses who are reluctant to speak? The ethereal touch of a brother or sister's body as the night approaches? Graves Without a Name is a cinematic movie by a master filmmaker that reaches well beyond the story of a country to that which is universal.
Fish Tail (Rabo de Peixe). Pinto, Joaquim; Leonel, Nuno (2016).
"Rabo de Peixe (literally translated as 'fish tail') is the name of a village in the Azores that is home to the largest collection of artisanal fisheries on the whole archipelago. The residents, mostly local fishermen and their families, have relied on these waters for generations. In recent years however, global industrial overfishing has created significant problems, throwing their livelihood into uncertainty and threatening to wipe out a centuries-old profession."--Container.
Balkan rhapsodies: 78 measures of war. Silva, Jeff (2008).
Balkan Rhapsodies is an episodic documentary poem that interweaves a mosaic of encounters, observations, and reflections from Silva's travels throughout war-torn Serbia and Kosovo between 1999-2005. An American filmmaker and ethnographer, Jeff Daniel Silva, was the first US civilian allowed entry into a devastated Serbia in 1999 just days after the NATO bombings. By immersing himself intimately into the lives of people he meets, the film grapples with the inexplicable contradictions he encounters while digging deeper in search for comprehension.
Manakamana. Spray, Stephanie A.; Velez, Pacho (2013).
"Filmed entirely inside the narrow confines of a cable car, high above a jungle in Nepal that transports villagers to an ancient mountaintop temple, [Manakamana] is an acute ethnographic investigation into culture, religion, technology and modernity ... For centuries, devoted pilgrims hoping to reach the fabled temple needed to undertake an arduous multi-day journey. Today, because of a new cable car system, the entire trip takes just under 10 minutes ... [The film] opens a rich and vibrant window onto this world over the course of eleven such rides. Each is composed of a fixed shot, lasting between 9 and 10 minutes ... With every sequence, we are introduced to new passengers: an elderly man and his grandson, a trio of teenage rockers, a married couple, a mother and daughter, three wives. Through their shared conversations, anecdotes, observations about the surrounding landscape, and even their silence, a detailed picture of their lives emerges; a story about history, tradition, and change"--Container.
The hottest August. Story, Brett (2019).
New York City, including its outer boroughs, during August 2017: it's a month heavy with the tension of a new President, growing anxiety over everything from rising rents to marching white nationalists, and unrelenting news of either wildfires or hurricanes on every coast. The film pivots on the question of futurity: what does the future look like from where we are standing? And what if we are not all standing in the same place? The Hottest Society is on the verge of catastrophe, with anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies preoccupying ordinary lives.
Two laws [an Aboriginal struggle for land and law]. Strachan, Carolyn; Cavadini, Alessandro (2007).
An Aboriginal community from the remote Northern Territory of Australia tells the story of their people through their eyes and their struggle for the recognition of Aboriginal law.
Bad Friday: Rastafari after Coral Gardens. Thomas, Deborah A.; Jackson, John L. (2011).
"Bad Friday focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens 'incident,' a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. It chronicles the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future."--Container.
The early works of Ana Vaz: 2007-2016. Vaz, Ana (2020).
Amérika : Bahía de las flechas / um filme de Ana Vaz ; produzido por Olivier Marboeuf ; uma produção, Spectre Productions. (2016 ; 8:51) -- Há terra! = There is land! (2016, 13 min.) -- A film, reclaimed / in collaboration with Tristan Bera. (2015 ; 20 min.) -- Occidente (2014 ; 15 min.) -- A idade da pedra = The age of stone (2013 ; 29 min.) -- Les mains, négatives / in collaboration with Julien Creuzet. (2012 ; 15 min.) -- Entre temps (2012 ; 11 min.) -- Sacris pulso (2007 ; 15 min.).
Every pulse of the heart is work. Wojtasik, Paweł (2020).
Filming largely in India's ancient holy city of Varanasi, Pawel Wojtasik has created a hypnotic study of people at work--a street beggar, a surgeon, a weaver, a priest, a masseur, a tabla drum maker, and a crane operator: people who in their intense concentration and ritualized movements evoke the idea of human labor as an act of spiritual devotion and social interdependence.
How to rust. Yezbick, Julia; Dabls, Olayami; Center, Harvard University Film Study; Guild, Cinema (2016).
A postindustrial fable told in iron, rocks, and wood. Detroit artist Olayami Dabls' installation "Iron Teaching Rocks How to Rust" is a metaphor for the forced assimilation of Africans to European culture and language. Here Dabls' bricolage of the postindustrial landscape becomes a commentary on the half-life of Fordism, where the relationship between cultural production, history, and place is recast, revealing larger truths about how we mythologize a former glory and shape an imagined future.
Into the hinterlands. Yezbick, Julia; Castaing-Taylor, Lucien; Baggett, Barney; Bielby, Liza; Newman, Richard; Lab, Harvard University Sensory Ethnography; Guild, Cinema (2018).
The Hinterlands, a Detroit-based performance ensemble, practice a form of ecstatic training which they see as a provocation towards the unknown -- a space both physical and imaginary. Their practice is one of ecstatic play, of finding the edge of one's balance, and the limits of one's body. Continually looking for new ways to "see" with the camera (shooting with her feet, shoulder, and neck), Yezbick's embodied camera immerses the viewer in the collective ecstatic experience, merging the space of their ludic play with the liminal space of the cinema.
Caught-in-between. Werbner, Richard P.; Lelatlhego, John; Research, International Centre for Contemporary Cultural; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain (2016).
Shot in 2016 in Botswana's Moremi village with its awesome landscapes, this film is mainly about a leading village elder, John Lelatlhego and his entanglement in the troubles of a young quarrelsome couple. John was an illiterate teenager in the 1970's, when he first went to work underground in the South African mines. Now computer literate, and retired, since 2014, as a Human Resources Administrator, John is the Little Chief or head of his part of Moremi, a minister of the African Baptist Full Gospel Church, the patriarch of an extended family, a big farmer, and a much sought after go-between in family and marital negotiations. The public roles John now plays, with his fine, trained sense of hierarchy in administration, entangle him in murky yet scandalous affairs. He gets caught in conflicting loyalties, bitterly dividing families, his bishop's and his cousin's. The film follows the testing of botsadi parenthood and the give-and-take between generations on very different occasions from the great and national patriotic celebration for Botswana's 50th anniversary, to intimate moments of gossip, church preaching and court hearings.
Untitled. Spray, Stephanie A. (2014).
A revealing one-shot portrait of two Nepali newlyweds in a moment of rest and playful interaction, Stephanie Spray's Untitled challenges our perception of two themes at the very core of ethnographic filmmaking: human relationships and the ways in which they can be experienced by the viewer. Only fourteen minutes long, Untitled is uncut, rejecting the implications of edited sequences and also purposefully excluding subtitles over the couple's conversation. The style of the film confronts the history of ethnography as a controversial study of the 'other' by refusing us any clear messages or meanings behind what is being presented, challenging the viewer to come up with their own answers to any questions that may arise.
Monsoon-reflections. Spray, Stephanie A. (2010).
Drawing its title from a poem by the Nepali poet Lekhnath Paudyal, who depicts the monsoon season as sublime and blissful, this video focuses instead on the melancholy and grit of two female Nepali field hands as they carry out their monsoon routines in Lekhnath, Nepal. It is a sensorial riposte to Paudyal's idealistic depiction of the monsoon as 'joyous from start to finish,' by means of reflections upon labor, gender, and fleeting pleasure in rural Nepal.
Kāle and Kāle. Spray, Stephanie A. (2010).
Kāle and Kāle portrays the subtle everyday interactions and relationships between an uncle and nephew, both nicknamed Kāle (pronounced kah-lay), and their families in rural Nepal.Rather than adopt a conventional ethnographic approach, which might depict these individuals as representatives of a particular caste--in this case as itinerant musicians known as the Gāine--this piece aims to move beyond the didacticism that often informs documentary film by providing glimpses into the local lifeworlds these individuals inhabit. The roles they play within their families, in village society, and in neighboring communities are slowly disclosed through a series of discrete vignettes. Through the careful pacing of the scenes and the length of individual shots, this video also explores the experience of time and its passing in rural Nepal. The work invites the viewer to engage unhurriedly and sensorially with its subjects and their environment.
Songhua. Sniadecki, J. P.; Lab, Harvard University Sensory Ethnography; Resources, Documentary Educational (2010).
The Songhua River runs through Harbin in northeastern China and serves as the city's main water source. By attending to the everyday activities of leisure and labor unfolding along the banks and promenade, Songhua depicts the intimate and complex relationship between Harbin city residents and their "mother river". Sniadecki's extended long takes observe everyday behavior balanced between tradition and a rapidly changing present, even as the film itself, with its balance of carefully composed shots and handheld footage, explores the interface between art and ethnography.
Chai qian Demolition. Sniadecki, J. P. (2010).
A portrait of urban space, migrant labor, and ephemeral relationships in the center of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in western China. Attending first to the formal dimensions of the transforming worksite - including the demands of physical labor and the relationship between human and machine - the film shifts focus to the social dynamics of a group of thirty men and women who have come from the countryside to work in this ever-changing urban landscape. In exploring the various banal yet striking interactions between these members of China's "floating population," the city's residents, and the filmmaker, Demolition simultaneously expresses and resists the fleeting nature of urban experience.
Linefork. Silva, Jeff; Rawlings, Vic; Sexton, Lee; Sexton, Opal; Lab, Harvard University Sensory Ethnography; Guild, Cinema (2016).
From the Sensory Ethnography Lab, Linefork is an immersive, meditative documentary that explores the daily rituals of Lee Sexton, a revered banjo legend, and his charming wife Opal. Lee is a living link to the deep past of American music - in 1959 he recorded for the landmark Smithsonian Folkways release Mountain Music of Kentucky. A retired coal miner now hampered by age and declining health, Lee continues to teach his distinctive two-finger banjo style to a new generation eager to preserve a vanishing cultural tradition. He and Opal farm the land where he has lived for the last 88 years as together they face the uncertainities of aging in place. An ethnomusicology of American folk music and a portrait of the human condition, Linefork documents the raw yet delicate music of a singular musician, linked to the past yet immediately present.
Amal's Garden. Shihab, Nadia; Lahib, Jaddo; Maamouri, Sara (2012).
Amal and Mustafa have shared a long life together in northern Iraq. When Amal decides to finally renovate their home after a decade of war, Mustafa retreats to the garden, where he encounters the curious gaze of his grandniece and her camera. An intimate snapshot of life at the boundary of destruction and renewal, AMAL'S GARDEN is the unexpected portrait of one Turkmen couple moving forward in a new Iraq, where, even in the stillness of night, life is blooming.
La laguna = Lagoon. Schock, Aaron; Bassett, Johnny; Goodman, Joel; Valenzuela Solórzano, Yu'uk Felix; Valenzuela Solórzano, José; Films, Hecho a. Mano; Guild, Cinema (2016).
Originally produced as a motion picture in 2016. A portrait of a childhood on the margins of society in Metzabok, southern Mexico. While Yu'uk and his younger brother José enjoy a childhood of uncommon freedom in the rainforests, Yu'uk's Mayan family's problems begin to mount and leaving his village, and his beloved little brother, may be his family's only hope.
Blocul = The block. Şalaru, Maria; Bud, Gheorghe; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain (2017).
From neighbourly disputes over garlic-heavy cooking to memories of Ceaușescu's heatless winters, the film explores the rich social and material universe of a Romanian apartment building block known as H2B Block Piatra Neamț. It follows the story of the block's administrator, in his effort to mediate relationships between neighbours and maintain peace and order. In doing so, it crayons the rich nuances of the inhabitants' everyday lives. The block comes to life as its inhabitants constantly reshape it to defy the passing of time, while its failing infrastructure encroaches on their neighbourly relations. This is a film about people's homes, and the spaces in between.
Ghosts of our forest. Roher, Daniel; Productions, Loud Roar; Guild, Cinema (2017).
In 1992, the indigenous pygmy Batwa people of Uganda were forcefully removed from their ancestral homes by the government to protect the endangered gorilla population. Left with no compensation or resettlement plans, most Batwa people now live in poverty, forced to make a living by guiding tourists through their old homes. With the Batwa population rapidly dwindling, 24-year-old Gad Semejeri starts the Batwa Music Club. By singing and dancing the spiritual and traditional songs that speak out against the injustices the tribe has endured, the band hopes to retain and reclaim their cultural heritage. Deftly weaving rapturous tales of traditional life from Batwa elders, stories of the Batwa Music Club's daily struggle for survival, and original songs performed by the band, Ghosts of Our Forest is a remarkably sensitive and intimate portrayal of a people whose physical connection to nature has been forcefully severed but remains alive through song and story.
Never far from home. Roher, Daniel; Dano, Joseph; Guild, Cinema (2015).
This simple vérité film takes viewers on a journey to the backwoods of Southern Georgia. In the sleepy town of Waycross lives a community of people who live quiet, happy lives. Colby and his friends are largely apathetic towards the ways of the world. The kids ride on four wheelers, hunt raccoons, and swap stories by firelight until dawn in the 'shanny' next to grandmas house. The kids are never far from home and live, like their grandfathers before them, out in the sticks with traditions routed in nature the forefront of their existences
Salero. Plunkett, Mike; Holmer, Anna Rose; Goldman, Andrew; Wiltzie, Adam; Educational, Ro*Co Films; Cinereach; Guild, Cinema (2015).
A rare and thorough look at the earth's largest salt flat, Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, Salero is a poetic journey through the eyes of Moises Chambi Yucra, one of the last remaining salt gatherers. This secluded region is thrust into the future when Bolivia embarks on a plan to extract a precious mineral from the Salar and to build an infrastructure that will connect it to the modern world.
Tabom in Bahia. Pereira, Nilton; Diaz, Juan Diego; Morton, Eric Odwerkai; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and (2017).
The Tabom is a Ghanaian community formed by descendants of African slaves who resettled from Brazil to Ghana almost two centuries ago. Tabom in Bahia follows Tabom master drummer Eric Morton on his travel from Ghana to Bahia in search of his Brazillian roots.
The last days of winter. Oskouei, Mehrdad; Films, DreamLab; Production, Oskouei Film; Guild, Cinema (2016).
Follows young teenage boys institutionalized into the Correctional Education Denter Shahreziba in Tehran, Iran. They have been convicted of stealing sheep and smuggling drugs. Their parents have left them abused and abandoned. The boys retain their playfulness and act as a band of brothers to each other. The film follows their day to day activities at the facility and also joins them on a holiday excursion to the Caspian Sea. With no walls around them, the boys become more open with the documentarian, detailing their plans of the future, family and love. But while the boys play in the sand and collect shells, the director captures in a breathtaking sequence their collective sadness and isolation.
It's always late for freedom. Oskouei, Mehrdad; Films, DreamLab; Films, Oskouei; Guild, Cinema (2016).
Acclaimed filmmaker Mehrdad Oskouei provides a rare glimpse into an all-male juvenile detention facility in Iran. These adolescent boys have committed crimes ranging from theft to drug smuggling to stabbing. But through Oskouei's masterful eye and gentle offscreen questioning, we learn that they are teenagers like any others-- teasing, playful, and in the throes of first love.
Híbridos. Moon, Vincent; Telmon, Priscilla; Abreu, Fernanda; Planètes, Petites; Filmes, Feever; Filmes, Samba; Guild, Cinema (2018).
From 4 years of research around Brazil, HÍBRIDOS, THE SPIRITS OF BRAZIL dives into the sacred culture of the largest country in South America through a very poetic and sensorial approach. As an exploration of trance-cinema, the film breaks down the distance between the viewer and the subject, guiding them trough a realm of movements, of non-stop dances, of music pulsating at high rhythms, creating in its core a new perspective about what might be the invisible and how we deal with it in a creative way. An ethnographic journey into the world of sacred ceremonies and their diversity, as well as a trip into cinema as a pure poetic language. Without any voices paving the way, only the sounds of the rituals and the chants of the devotees, Híbridos is a music film of a new kind.
Treasured moments. Lloyd, Ravi Hart; Lloyd, Akio; Merrill, Heather; University College, London Anthropology Department; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain (2016).
This is the personal story of a boy who grew up mixed in every aspect of his life, his parents, where he was from, his race. The black kid who thought that he was white. The white kid who thought that he was black. The director, Ravi Hart, narrates the film along with interviews with his family. The film begins with Ravi's love of boats. Born on the island of Anguilla, British West Indies, he grew up sailing and fishing. A catastrophic hurricane hits the island in 1995 and the family leaves for the United States. The film goes on to articulate the mixed race experience in the US through themes of identity, displacement, educational inequalities and police harassment.
Death row. Jackson, Bruce; Christian, Diane; Resources, Documentary Educational; Culture, State University of New York at Buffalo Center for Studies in American (2007).
Death Row" is a documentary filmed in 1979 by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian illustrating life on cell block J in Ellis Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections. The film is available in the new book "In This Timeless Time," with photos from the experience and words that further reveals the world of Death Row prisoners and offers an unflinching commentary on the judicial system and the fates of the men they met on the Row.
Deep time. Hutton, Noah; Bery, Sara'o; Miller, Jesse; Films, Couple 3.; Guild, Cinema (2015).
A kaleidoscopic study of the recent oil boom in North Dakota, Deep Time is [a] documentary that focuses on the impact the fossil fuel business has on the environment and on how it affects local landowners, state officials and the Indigenous Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation. As Stanley, North Dakota, transforms from small-town America into one of the biggest centers of the oil boom, inhabitants face overwhelming challenges. Major spills occur almost every week, many unreported. With a significant influx of oil rig workers, the rental market explodes as demand for affordable housing skyrockets. Tensions escalate between newcomers and locals, as well as between workers who have been in the field for many years and workers who are taking their first oil job. The film focuses on Marty Youngbear, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, whose lands generate millions of dollars' worth of crude oil every month. While the MHA's now-former chairman Tex Hall adopts a 'sovereignty by the barrel' approach to allowing the oilmen onto the lands, Youngbear is more concerned with preserving the integrity of his tribal culture and of the earth. The film follows him as he speaks at community meetings.
The Maribor uprisings. Guillén, Milton; Razsa, Maple; Kurnik, Andrej; Collective, Komunal Media; EnMasseFilms (2017).
In The Maribor Uprisings-- part film, part conversation, and part interactive experiment-- you are invited to participate in the protests over political corruption. Dramatic frontline footage from a video activist collective places you in Maribor as crowds surround and ransack City Hall under a hailstorm of tear gas canisters. As a viewer, you must decide collectively with your fellow audience members which cameras you will follow and therefore how the screening will unfold. Like those who joined the actual uprisings, you will be faced with the choice of joining non-violent protests or following rowdy crowds towards City Hall and greater conflict.
Into the field. Grossman, Alyssa; Smith, Putnam; Centre, University of Manchester Media; Anthropology, Granada Centre for Visual; Resources, Documentary Educational (2007).
This film examines the everyday secular lives of nuns residing in the Romanian Orthodox monastery of Varatec. The majority of the 450 members of this monastery live as small groups in private houses, much like regular villagers, rather than inside the walls of the communal abbey. Throughout the year, they integrate their duties at home with their religious responsibilities to their community and to the church. By visually exploring the social aesthetics of the monastery, the film depicts certain aspects of the nuns' everyday, lived experiences. Instead of exclusively focusing on the spiritual qualities of monastery existence, it documents the secular aspects of the nuns' relationships, activities, and routines, and offers a glimpse into the concrete ways in which they negotiate their identities within the separate yet connected spaces of home and church.
Lumina amintirii = In the light of memory. Grossman, Alyssa; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and; Anthropology, Granada Centre for Visual (2010).
Lumina amintirii explores evocations of memory in contemporary post-socialist Bucharest, nearly twenty years after the fall of Romanian communism. The film is shot in Cismigiu Gardens, one of the oldest public parks in Bucharest. Interweaving recollections of the past with glimpses of present-day scenes from the park, the film constructs a montage of stillness and motion, images and voices, landscapes and people. Tracing paths through both the mind and the city, it invites viewers to activate their own memories and imaginations along with those unfolding in the film.
Shepherds in the cave. Grieco, Anthony; Creanza, Tonio; Laborante, Donato Emar; Kilburn, Nicole; Media, Red Mammoth; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain (2017).
The Fornello Restoration Project is a cultural conservation initiative founded by Tonio Creanza and Giovanni Ragone, and devoted to restoring medieval frescoes and traditional cultural practices in an extensive network of caves near Altamura, Italy. The Byzantine and Latin era frescoes range from 12th to 14th century CE., the surrounding cave dwellings date back thousands of years earlier, and nearby Neanderthal remains have been determined to be older than 130,000 years. The film chronicles the meticulous work of art restorers working on the frescoes, archeologists exploring the network of caves, and shepherds and farmers in the surrounding countryside - locals, visitors, and migrants alike - their passions indivisible from one another.
Please don't beat me, sir!. Friedman, P. Kerim; Talukdar, Shashwati; Schwarz, Henry; Engfehr, Kurt; Berk, Michael; Four Nine and a Half Pictures, Inc; Theatre, Budhan (2011).
Over sixty million Indians belong to communities imprisoned by the British as "criminals by birth.' The Chhara of Ahmedabad, in Western India, are one of 198 such 'criminal tribes.' Declaring that they are 'born actors, ' not 'born criminals, ' a group of Chhara youth have turned to street theater in their fight against police brutality, corruption, and the stigma of criminality--a stigma internalized by their own grandparents. Please don't beat me, Sir! follows the lives of these young actors and their families as they take their struggle to the streets, hoping their plays will spark a revolution.
Ignacio's legacy. Fossgard-Moser, Titus; Moser, Brian; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and (2017).
Between 1960 and 1992, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Brian Moser made four films concerning indigenous peoples of northwest Amazonia: "Piraparana" (1960), "War of the Gods" (1971), "A Small Family Business" (1983), and "Before Columbus" (1992). This film documents a journey in early 2016 by Brian, his son Titus, and anthropologists Stephen and Christine Hugh-Jones to show and return these films and other audio-visual material to the Barasana and Makuna peoples. Alongside capturing the journey and the peoples' reactions to the films, it draws upon the earlier films to explore various forms of cultural change over nearly sixty years.
Socotra. Esteva, Jordi; Productions, Siwa; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and (2017).
The film is a journey across the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Yemen. Socotra is isolated during the monsoon season, when it is impossible to land on it. This isolation has preserved a unique environment. Frankincense and myrrh trees grow freely. Ahmed Afrar, his companions and three cameleers with their animals trek to the mountains before the rainy season. During the trip, the Socotrians tell stories by the fire. During the night, the conversation turns to legends of djinns and monstrous snakes that dwell in the cavernous interior of the island.
Namatjira project. Davies, Sera; Namatjira, Albert; Marinos, Sophia; Jamieson, Trevor; hART, B. I.G.; Entertainment, Umbrella (2017).
An extraordinary first-hand account of the international battle to reclaim the artwork and heritage of one of Australia's most important Indigenous figures: Albert Namatjira. Namatjira was one of those rare artists who changed the course of history. But he was never fully accepted by white Australia, and after being wrongfully imprisoned, he died despondent and broken. Then, in 1983, the Government sold the rights to his work to a dealer despite Namatjira having left his art to his wife and children. Namatjira Project documents their fight to have his legacy returned to its rightful home.
Firāāq = Firaaq = Firaq. Das, Nandita; Kothari, Shuchi; Dholakia, Rajat; Kanojia, Piyush; Shah, Naseeruddin; Goswami, Shahana; Chopra, Tisca; Rawal, Paresh; Suri, Sanjay; Yadav, Raghuvir; Navala, Dīptī; Company, Percept Picture; Entertainment, Eagle Home (2009).
In the midst of the 2002 riots between the Hindus and the Muslims in Gujarat, the lives of people from different walks of life are all tested, from a couple desperately trying to decide whether or not to stay in their home, to a woman who must deal with the guilt of sending someone away, to a group of men bent on revenge.
On Broadway. Danusiri, Aryo; Resources, Documentary Educational; Lab, Harvard University Sensory Ethnography (2011).
A structural account of the cultural transformation of a mosque in a basement space in Manhattan, New York City. As suggested by the title, this film is 'a song' of transformational moments of space, identities and belief. Consisting of six long take shots, it starts with a relaxed conversation in the everyday life of an emptiness of a basement. Then it gradually becomes an event - an event of struggle. At the end, with a twist, it raises questions about the boundaries between the mundane and the spiritual, the politics and the everyday.
Leviathan. Castaing-Taylor, Lucien; Paravel, Véréna; Cinéma, Arrête ton; Guild, Cinema (2013).
In this cinema verite work set entirely on a groundfish trawler out of New Bedford, Mass., the filmmakers have avoided the standard equipment of interviews, analysis and explanation. A product of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard, the film offers not information but immersion in wind, water, grinding machinery and piscine agony. The brutality of fishing, as opposed to its romance, is emphasized here. The experience is often unnerving and sometimes nauseating, because of the motions of the juddering, swaying hand-held camera and also because of the distended eyes, gasping mouths and mutilated flesh of the catch. Presented without dialogue, speech is drowned out by the roar of the elements and the screech and thump of engines and hydraulic winches.
Hija de la laguna = Daughter of the lake. Cabellos, Ernesto; Frigola Torrent, Núria; Prieto, Antolín; Sánchez Giraldo, Carlos; Steiner, Jessica; Hilari Sölle, Miguel; Choy-Yin, Martín; Ayay Chilón, Nélida; Video, Guarango Cine y. (2018).
Nelida is an Andean woman who talks to the water spirits. The discovery of a gold deposit threatens to destroy the lake she thinks of as her mother. To stop this from happening, Nelida joins the local farmers who fear being left without water in their fight against the biggest gold mine in Latin America.
Sweetgrass. Barbash, Ilisa; Castaing-Taylor, Lucien; Lab, Harvard University Sensory Ethnography; Kanopy (2019).
An unsentimental elegy to the American West, Sweetgrass follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana's breathtaking and often dangerous Absaroka-Beartooth mountains for summer pasture. This astonishingly beautiful film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, and vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed.
Neighbors. Avildsen, John G.; Gelbart, Larry; Zanuck, Richard D.; Brown, David; Belushi, John; Aykroyd, Dan; Moriarty, Cathy; Walker, Kathryn; Conti, Bill; Berger, Thomas; Pictures, Columbia; Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home (2011).
Earl Keese is a slightly overweight, fairly average guy who is approaching middle age. He leads a reasonably comfortable life with his family in their suburban home until the house next door is bought by a truly odd couple, Vic and Ramona, who quickly proceed to drive Earl crazy. Vic's lunatic behavior has Earl running in circles while Ramona's coarse seductiveness leaves him panting. In short, Earl's tranquil life is suddenly turned upside down. (Newly remastered)
Rat film. Anthony, Theo; Roch-Decter, Riel; Pardo, Sebastian; Jones, Maureen; Deacon, Dan; Guild, Cinema (2017).
A unique blend of history, sci-fi, poetry and portraiture, Rat Film ... breaks documentary norms and dissects how racial segregation, redlining, and environmental racism built the Baltimore we see today.
Whipping zombie = Kale zonbi. Ancarani, Yuri; Guild, Cinema (2017).
In a remote Haitian village, a ritual dance, slaves and masters: it's the zombie dance. Riding on a hypnotic and relentless music, inducing trance and evoking the rhythm of working muscles, men whip and fight one another, until they die and be born again in an infinite cycle. Directed by Yuri Ancarani (The Challenge) Kale Zonbi, Whipping Zombie, the title of a unique ritual shot for the first time, taking place in a paradise where it is impossible to forget the horror of the past.
Still life. Allan, Diana; Resources, Documentary Educational; Lab, Harvard University Sensory Ethnography (2010).
Explores the mediations of memory among three generations of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. It considers how a series of photos brought to Lebanon by Said Otruk, an elderly Palestinian fisherman from Acre, mediate both his present experience and recollections of his life in Palestine before 1948.
Living with Boko Haram. Ahmadou, Mouazamou; Waage, Trond; Kogine, Vakote; Kogine, Antoniette; Ireland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and (2017).
January 2015. Boko Haram's violent insurgency is approaching Mogdé, on the Nigerian/Cameroonian border, where Antoniette Kogine lives. Just outside Oslo, Norway, lives her son Vakote, worried and afraid for his family and friends back home. This film follows Antoniette and Vakote over a period of 6 months, whilst extremely violent events take place and Antoniette's youngest son disappears. Through a close portrait of a mother and her son, we gain a new insight into how Boko Haram is seen from 'below'. The making of this film was possible only due to long-lasting collaboration between visual anthropologists in northern Norway and northern Cameroon.
Kivalina. Abatemarco, Gina (2016).
Shows life in the small Inupiaq village of Kivalina, Alaska, and the difficulties residents face with the impacts of sea level rise as their Island disappears with each passing storm.
Angry Inuk. Arnaquq-Baril, Alethea (2017).
Seal meat is a staple food for the Inuit people, and many of the pelts are sold to offset the extraordinary cost of hunting. Inuit are spread across extensive lands and waters, and their tiny population is faced with a disproportionate responsibility for protecting the environment. They are pushing for a sustainable way to take part in the global economy, but in opposition stands an army of well-funded activists and well-meaning celebrities who consider any seal hunting barbaric.
An art that nature makes. Bernstein, Molly (2017).
Finding unexpected beauty in the discarded and decayed, photographer Rosamond Purcell has developed a body of work that has garnered international acclaim, graced the pages of National Geographic and over twenty published books, and has attracted admirers such as Jonathan Safran Foer, Errol Morris, and Stephen Jay Gould. Here, Purcell's fascination with the natural world is detailed, offering insight into her unique way of re-contextualizing objects both ordinary and strange.
Subatlantic. Biemann, Ursula (2015).
Appealing concurrently in this video essay to various meanings of the term "Subatlantic"--a climatic phase beginning 2500 years ago, as well as the submerged regions of the Atlantic--Biemann immerses her camera deep in oceanic waters to ponder upon the entanglements of geological time with that of human history. As the voice-over speaks the accounts of a she-scientist traversing the pan-generational timescales of the Subatlantic, we navigate between the palpable evidence of the dramatic human-induced ecological alterations to the world and those that are simply beyond our comprehension.
Frame by frame. Bombach, Alexandria; Scarpelli, Mo (2015).
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, taking a photo was a crime. After the regime fell from power in 2001, a fledgling free press emerged and a photography revolution was born. Now, as foreign troops and media withdraw, Afghanistan is left to stand on its own, and so are its journalists. Set in a modern Afghanistan bursting with color and character, FRAME BY FRAME follows four Afghan photojournalists as they navigate an emerging and dangerous media landscape reframing Afghanistan for the world, and for themselves. Through cinema verite, intimate interviews, powerful photojournalism, and never-before-seen archival footage shot in secret during the Taliban regime, the film connects audiences with four humans in the pursuit of the truth.
El mar la mar. Bonnetta, Joshua; Sniadecki, J. P. (2017).
Weaves together harrowing oral histories of the [Mexican-American] border region with hand-processed, 16mm images of the flora, fauna and items left behind by those who've made the hazardous trek. Over a black screen, subjects speak of their intense, mythic experiences in the desert: A man tells of a fifteen-foot-tall monster said to haunt the region, while a border patrolman spins a similarly bizarre tale of man versus beast. A sonically rich soundtrack adds to the eerie atmosphere as the call of birds and other nocturnal noises invisibly populate the austere landscape. Emerging from the ethos of Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, Sniadecki's attentive documentary approach mixes perfectly with Bonnetta's meditations on the materiality of film. Through their stunning collaboration, they create a mystical, folktale-like atmosphere dense with memories, ghosts and the remains of desire.
Leaving Greece. Brass, Anna (2016).
When entering the EU for the first time, a refugee must submit an application for asylum. So much is clear. Less well known, however is the fact that for 90% of all refugees, the Aegean is the gateway to Europe. So what does this mean for Greece? Every aspect of the Greek Asylum system is so overstrained that it has effectively collapsed. No one is allowed to remain in Greece, and yet, according to the EU no one may leave. The authorities are extremely harsh to those attempting to exit the country. The film tells the very personal story of three Afghan refugees: Hossein, Reza and Kaka, who have tried for years to break this vicious circle. A film about friendship--and the contradictory European refugee policy.
A town in Sicily. Bromhead, Toni de (2018).
In 2013, a group of young Sicilians known as CambiaMenti take on corruption and Mafia in their local election in Castellammare del Golfo.
Lampedusa in Winter. Brossmann, Jakob (2017).
Filmed during the winters of 2013 and 2014, a vivid portrait of the tiny "refugee island" of Lampedusa, which is obliged by virtue of its position on the southernmost edge of Europe to confront issues which the rest of the continent attempts to avoid: the ongoing crisis of the African boat people.
Vultures of Tibet. Bush, Russell O. (2015).
Vultures of Tibet explores the recent commercialization of a sacred Tibetan funeral tradition known as Sky Burial. In Sky Burial, Tibetans ritually feed the bodies of their dead to wild Griffon Vultures as an offering to benefit other living beings. With the modernization of Western China and the expansion of tourism in Tibet, burial sites are now highlighted on tourist maps and local officials charge visitors admission to view the private ritual. Against the will of affected families, visitors take photos and video, often posting them online. Filmed in August, 2011, when regional tensions became so unbearable that scores of Tibetans began setting themselves on fire ... Exposing a world in which nature and culture, humans and animals, spirituality and politics are all interconnected, Vultures of Tibet engages audiences with the potential for oppression in the act of looking.
Sou suo = Caught in the web. Chen, Kaige (2012).
The story begins on a bus, when white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat to a senior citizen. Her defiance is videotaped by a journalist intern and played during a news show. The video sparks intense debate on and off the Internet. Some Internet users search for Ye's personal information and post it all online. The issue soon brings tremendous changes to the families of both the journalist intern and Ye's boss.
Ringtone. Deger, Jennifer; Gurrumuruwuy, Paul (2016).
In the community of Gapuwiyak in northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Yolngu Aboriginal families offer glimpses into their lives and relationships through their choice of ringtones. From ancestral clan songs to 80s hip hop artists and local gospel tunes, these songs connect individuals into a world of deep and enduring connection. And yet, simultaneously the phone opens Yolngu to new vectors of vulnerability and demand. Made collaboratively by a new media arts collective of indigenous and non-indigenous filmmakers, the film offers a beautiful and surprisingly moving meditation on the connections and intrusions brought by mobile phones to a once-remote Aboriginal community.
Mirages. Dury, Olivier (2010).
Every day, dozens of people are driven by an incredible sense of hope to set out with the intention of arriving in Europe. During the first few days of their crossing from Agadez to Djanet, from Niger into Algeria, these emigrants are forced to confront the time of the desert with its stases, its brutal accelerations and its mineral inertia. The ordeal they undergo turns them into undocumented immigrants. But during their journey, this film considers them as individuals and for a brief moment steals them from the invisibility that awaits them.
Awake. Fox, Josh; Spione, James; Dewey, Myron (2017).
The Water Protectors at Standing Rock captured world attention through their peaceful resistance. While many may know the details, AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock captures the story of Native-led defiance that forever changed the fight for clean water, our environment and the future of our planet. The film is a collaboration between Indigenous filmmakers, Director Myron Dewey, Executive Producer Doug Good Feather and environmental Oscar Nominated filmmakers Josh Fox and James Spione. It is a labor of love to support the peaceful movement of the water protectors.
Tracing roots. Frankenstein, Ellen (2014).
Tracing Roots is a portrait of an artist and a mystery. The film follows master weaver and Haida elder Delores Churchill on a journey to understand the origins of a spruce root hat found with Kwädąy Dän Ts'ìnchį, the Long Ago Person Found, a 300-year-old traveler discovered in Northern Canada in a retreating glacier. Delores's quest crosses cultures and borders, involving artists, scholars and scientists, raising questions about the meaning of connection, knowledge and ownership.
The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song. Garland, Christy (2012).
In Georgetown, Guyana, Muscle and his mother Mary each struggle to break free of something, bringing them into conflict with each other. Mary (74) wanders on the road, begs for money to get drunk, and sometimes falls down and hurts herself, so her son Muscle (43) decides that the only way to prevent her from hurting herself is to keep her locked up in her small, dark room. This desperate, extreme measure unearths a violent family history that soon reveal Muscle and Mary to be heroic survivors of an atrocious past who courageously fight to live life on their own terms.
Village at the end of the world. Gavron, Sarah; Katznelson, David (2013).
Shot over the course of a year in Northern Greenland, the film intrudes audiences to a remote village with more dogs than people. The film focuses on four townsfolk from the tiny population of 59: Lars, the only teenager; Karl, the huntsman who has never acknowledged that Lars is his son; Ilanngauq, the outsider who moved to Niaqornat after meeting his wife on-line; and Annie, the elder who remembers the ways of the Shaman and a time when the lights were fueled by seal blubber. In this astutely constructed real-life drama, we see how the economic and ecological future of the community is more fragile than its hardy inhabitants.
Honorable nations. Gazit, Chana (1993).
Salamanca is the only city in the United States that is situated entirely on land owned by Native Americans. For 99 years, the townspeople have rented the land upon which their homes stand from the Seneca Indians for $1 a year. They have gotten used to their right to live and to do business on Indian property. But on February 19, 1991 the lease expired. The Seneca Nation felt that it has been badly exploited by the old terms, and now insisted on huge increases - or else it would take back the land. Many of the townspeople were outraged at higher rents, especially as the town was suffering from a depressed economy. The film follows the five years of negotiation, as each side heatedly defended their position. Archival footage, historical photographs and interviews help tell the story of two communities caught in a web of historical injustice. Eventually, a landmark agreement was hammered out which enabled the town to survive. Among its terms is $60 million in reparation by the Federal government to the Senecas, the first Native American tribe to receive this acknowledgement of past wrongs.
At low tide. Grimshaw, Anna (2018).
Every day, carrying the simplest of tools, diggers across coastal Maine set out at low tide to dig for clams on the wide mud flats that stretch far into the bay. It is backbreaking work. But it has an unusual beauty that emanates from the ebb and flow of the tide, the shifts of light and wind, the skill and rhythm of digging, and the sound and texture of deep, viscous mud. At Low Tide explores the choreography of digging through a portrait of a man who lives and works according to the tide. In its focus on pattern, movement and repetition, the film evokes the sensory richness and poetic dimensions of clam digging, offering a new perspective on contemporary American culture.
Ever the land. Grohnert, Sarah (2015).
Ever the Land explores the sublime bond between people and their land through the landmark design and construction of a unique "Living Building" by one of Aotearoa New Zealand's most passionately independent Maori tribes, Ngai Tuhoe. For 150 years, longstanding grievances over extreme colonisation tactics such as illegal land confiscation and scorched earth policies had defined the relationship between Tuhoe and a succession of New Zealand governments. Then in 2014, history was made: Te Urewera, Tuhoe's ancestral homelands, were returned, the New Zealand government gave an official apology, and the Tuhoe people built the first ever "Living Building" in Aotearoa. Conceived as symbolic testament to Ngai Tuhoe values and their vision of self-governance, the new building, and the story of its design and construction, ties together a wealth of characters, history and experiences in this thoroughly engaging observational documentary. The creation of the building immerses us in a culture of people closely entwined with the land, and in a form of architecture distinguished by the integrity of its relationship with the environment.
Coffee futures = Neyse halim çiksin falim. Gürsel, Zeynep Devrim (2010).
Coffee Futures weaves individual fortunes with the story of Turkey's decades-long attempts to become a member of the European Union. Promises and predictions made by politicians, both foreign and domestic, are juxtaposed with the rhetorics and practices of coffee fortune telling.
Playing with nan. Kharel, Dipesh; Saito, Asami (2012).
The story of a Nepali young man who migrated to work in a Nepali restaurant in northern Japan. The film explores his daily life at work and his family at home, which reflects socio-cultural problems related to globalization. Twenty-eight years ago, Ram was born in a rural village in Nepal. Working on the farm Ram saw little hope apart from surviving in the poor conditions. One day he decided to escape from the village and poverty. In Kathmandu he worked for 12 years at several restaurants. However, he could not change the family's situation. He heard a beautiful story from a broker about the work and earning opportunities in Japan. He paid the broker 20,000 USD to buy a work visa to enter in Japan. He borrowed the money from his relatives and friends with the commitment of paying back them later with a 20% interest. Several dramatic consequences occurred within Ram's life and his family's after his migration to Japan.
Mediating mobility. Köhn, Steffen; Calvo, Paola (2015).
Tell me when...: On their way to Europe, immigrants Opara from Nigeria, Shahbaz from Pakistan and Ilham from Morocco are stranded in Melilla, a Spanish exclave on the North-African coast that is surrounded by a huge border fence. Waiting for their papers or their final deportation, they are trapped in this enclosed city and can do nothing but wait. The video captures this in limbo situation by radically focusing on their sense perception, their increasingly circular movements in this confined space, and their drowning in a sea of dead time. A tale of two islands: In 2011, the small island Mayotte in the Indian Ocean officially received the status as the 101st department of France. Since that day, an external frontier of the European Union separates Mayotte from Anjouan, its African sister-island belonging to the Union of the Comoros. Both Islands were for a long time part of the French colonial empire. In the wake of the African decolonization movement of the 1970s, referendums were organized on both islands. While Anjouan declared its independence, the overwhelming majority in Mayotte voted for remaining a part of France. Since then, Mayotte profits from French investments into its infrastructure, education and health system, while Anjouan looks back onto a history full of coups d'états, political turmoil and economic depression. Many Anjouanais thus try to clandestinely reach their neighbor-island in nighttime crossings. The film describes the postcolonial space that originates from this complex political situation. It consists of two synchronized films that are projected onto two opposing screens. They chart both islands' lifeworlds in precisely composed tableaux, revealing the invisible bonds that connect them. Intimate distance: A collaborative cinematic experiment where the director asked three transnational families to record their daily webcam conversations over the course of several months. The film offers a very intimate insight into the fascinating communication rituals of migrants, in which they create transnational family life via Skype.
Suspino. Kovanic, Gillian Darling (2003).
Examines the persecution and discrimination inflicted upon European Roma, or Gypsies as they are pejoratively called. Focuses on Romania, where Europe's largest concentration of Roma are considered "public enemies," and Italy, where the Roma are classified as nomads and forced to live in camps while being denied human rights available to refugees and foreign residents.
The anthropologist. Kramer, Seth; Miller, Daniel A.; Newberger, Jeremy S. (2016).
At the core of The Anthropologist are the parallel stories of two women: Margaret Mead, who popularized cultural anthropology in America; and Susie Crate, an environmental anthropologist currently studying the impact of climate change. Uniquely revealed from their daughters' perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides.
Qapirangajuq Inuit knowledge and climate change. Kunuk, Zacharias; Mauro, Ian (2010).
Zacharias Kunuk and his team at Isuma Productions along with researcher Ian Mauro, PhD, University of Victoria, have teamed up with Inuit communities to document and communicate Inuit knowledge and experience regarding climate change in Nunavut. This community-based video research and filmmaking project values the important contribution Inuit have regarding climate change impacts and associated adaptation strategies. Their insight - borne from centuries of shared knowledge - reveals a deep intimacy with their environment and both supports and challenges mainstream media reports of climate change. This new documentary, the world's first Inuktitut language film on the topic, takes the viewer "on the land" with elders and hunters to explore the social and ecological impacts of a warming Arctic. Exploring centuries of Inuit knowledge, allowing the viewer to learn about climate change first-hand from Arctic residents themselves, the film portrays Inuit as experts regarding their land and wildlife and makes it clear that climate change is a human rights issue affecting this ingenious Indigenous culture.
Lake of betrayal. Lamont, Paul (2017).
Kinzua Dam was a flashpoint in history for the Seneca Nation of Indians. Completed in 1965, it created a reservoir that inundated vast tracts of their ancestral lands. This was in breach of the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 signed by President George Washington which had guaranteed them their lands "forever." Set against a backdrop of tha federal Indian termination policy, pork-barrel politics, and undisclosed plans for private hydropower, the Seneca fought the federal government and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to defend their sovereignty. Lake of Betrayal explores an untold story from American history about a one-sided battle pitting an impoverished Native American nation against some of the strongest political, social and commercial forces in the country.
Sepideh. Madsen, Berit (2016).
Living in the Fārs province of Iran, Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. She spends her nights exploring the secrets of the universe, while her family will do anything to keep her on the ground. The expectations for a young Iranian woman are very different from Sepideh's ambitions, and her plans to go to university are in danger. But Sepideh holds on to her dream! She takes up the fight and teams up with the world's first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari.--Container.
Travel. Mai, Nicola (2017).
Joy left Nigeria to help her family after her father's death. She knew that she was going to sell sex in France, but she was unaware of the degree of exploitation that she would face. With the help of an association she obtains asylum, but to help her family and live her life, she continues selling sex. This documentary ethnofiction was co-written by Nicola Mai and 8 Nigerian women with experiences of migration, sex work and trafficking. Joy is one of several fictional characters embodying their individual and collective experiences. In order to protect their identities these roles are played by non-professional actresses including some of the film's co-authors.
Algorithms. McDonald, Ian (2014).
In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India. Filmed over three years, Algorithms travels with three talented boys and a totally blind player turned pioneer to competitive national and world championships and visits them in their home milieu where they reveal their struggles, anxieties and hopes. Going beyond sight and story, this observational sport doc with a difference moves through the algorithms of the blind chess world challenging the sighted of what it means to see. It allows for the tactile and thoughtful journey that explores foresight, sight and vision to continue long after the moving image ends.
Rockerill. Mora, Yves (2011).
Five years ago, one of the oldest industrial buildings of Charleroi- 'les Forges de la Providence'- was saved from demolition being brought by two citizens: Thierry Camuy and Mika Hell. Together with some close friends and artists, they turned it into a place of alternative creation which became a symbol of renaissance and image rehabilitation for the whole region.
Journey to the maggot feeder. Niglas, Liivo; Tender, Priit (2015).
This film tries to solve the mystery of a bizarre Arctic fairy tale. Priit Tender, an Estonian animator, makes a film about an old Chukchi legend - The Maggot Feeder. The unconventional narrative is misunderstood by western audiences and Priit takes off on a journey to Chukotka in the north-eastern corner of Siberia, where he unearths deeper layers of the tale and local culture. This anthropological road movie deals with the importance of storytelling and it invites the viewers to undertake a journey into the depths of the Chukchi inner world.
Why is Mr W. Laughing. Papenbrook, Jana (2017).
Mr Horst W. is a man who loves to laugh. He and his friends Bernhard and Michael are members of a community project of artists with different impairments. Instead of interpreting art as a means of liberation from normative society, like most neurotypical artists who work in competition, these subversively serene artists see art as a vehicle to build a community and to cooperate.
Triple divide [redacted]. Pribanic, Joshua; Troutman, Melissa A. (2017).
Looks at the impact of fracking in one of the country's most pristine watersheds. With exclusive interviews from oil and gas industry leaders, independent experts and impacted residents, Triple divide [redacted] covers five years (2011 - 2016) of cradle-to-grave investigations that reveal how regulators and industry keep water contamination covered up.
Cast in India. Raheja, Natasha (2014).
Iconic and ubiquitous, thousands of manhole covers dot the streets of New York City. Enlivening the everyday objects around us, this short documentary is a glimpse of the working lives of the men behind the manhole covers in New York City.
Ausencias = Absences. Sánchez, Tatiana Huezo (2015).
Exposes the ever-intensifying phenomenon of enforced disappearance in Mexico. A boy and his father disappear one morning, snatched off the road by armed men. Left behind, alone with her daughter, Lulu, a victim who refuses to give in, decides to tell the unacceptable story: the unfillable void, the absence of loved ones, the unanswered questions and the suffocating silence. After 5 years, absence has her living in a limbo that gives way to desire, hope and the struggle to find her 9-year old son Brandon and her husband, alive. Lulú despierta en el silencio de una casa que quedó vacía. Hace cinco años que desaparecieron su esposo y su hijo Brandon, de ocho años. La ausencia que dejaron atrás ahora la hace vivir en un limbo donde también habitan el deseo, la esperanza y la lucha por encontrarlos todavía con vida.
Tempestad. Sánchez, Tatiana Huezo (2016).
A group of innocent people is charged with human trafficking and thrown into prison. The authorities announce they've dealt a blow to organised crime; the public is reassured. Tempestad is a road movie: 2000 kilometres by bus from Matamoros to Cancún, through a blustery, overcast, bleak country. In her second feature documentary, Tatiana Huezo has a young mother recount her journey through hell: innocent, robbed of her liberty, she's handed over to those for whom she's being made to atone--in a private prison controlled by the Gulf Cartel.
Ghetto PSA. Schillaci, Rossella (2016).
Jacob arrived in Italy alone from French Guinea when he was 11 years old. Today he is 27, and hip hop music is his whole world: it is his way to express dreams, hopes and frustrations, and to not feel part of the "ghetto" any longer. He lives on the outskirts of Turin, where, by day, together with other young migrants who are part of his band "Ghetto PSA", he writes songs and makes music. At night, he works as an educator in a centre for asylum seekers. This "double life" leads him to reflect on his own identity, as a young Italian who speaks three languages, but who does not forget who he is and where he has come from.
The way we live now. Smith, Sophia Hersi (2017).
An intimate portrait of the daily routines and rituals of the Hadza people, modern-day hunter-gatherers living in the acacia-baobab woodlands surrounding Lake Eyasi in North-Central Tanzania. The film traces the daily rhythms of this small community while allowing them to reflect on how their way of life has changed. We are with them from dusk until dawn, where we get a glimpse of their world from their point of view: hunting for wild animals and honey, making food and poison, sitting around the fire with family and dancing under the stars.
Good hair. Stilson, Jeff (2010).
Comedian Chris Rock tackles the very personal issue of hair, and how attaining good hair can impact African Americans' activities, relationships, wallets, and a self-esteem. Engages in frank, funny conversations with haircare professionals, beautyshop and barbershop patrons, as well as featuring interviews with Dr. Maya Angelou, Nia Long, Ice-T, Raven Symone, and more.
Unity. Visser, Mara Lin (2017).
This is a film about African fashion in the capital of Ghana. African printed fabrics seem to making a comeback in the fashion system of Accra. While following Allan, a fashion designer and his wife Cynthia, this mosaic film shows the great diversity and hybridity of tailor-made fashion in the city, the variety of ways in which African clothing may be used and the cultural expression that is implicit in the wearing of African printed fabrics. The process of sewing a dress involves the marriage not only of fabric and design, and of tradition and creativity, but also of husband and wife.
Fighting for nothing to happen. Wildenauer, Nora (2017).
After the volcanic eruption of Mount Rokatenda, the people of the island of Pulau Palue in east Indonesia are to be relocated. But are the planned relocation and the "new" life at the neighboring Pulau Besar really promising? This film accompanies Father Cyrillus, priest and employee of Caritas, a Christian NGO, in his efforts to promote and drive forward the relocation project. A worried host community, unclear land rights at the relocation site, a corrupt and disorganized government in the district capital, as well as impatient refugees in temporary shelters, are challenging the protagonists in their attempts to make the best of the situation.
Stori Tumbuna. Wolffram, Paul (2014).
In 2001 Paul Wolffram, a cultural researcher, travelled to one of the most isolated and unique corners of the earth. He eventually spent over two years living and working among the Lak people in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea. As his relationships with the people grew he began to glimpse a hidden reality, a dark and menacing history that loomed over his host community. Over time the sense that something is amiss grows. As his curiosity deepens Paul brings to light dark secrets that set in motion a compelling and deadly set of events.
Dear Pyongyang. Yang, Yonghi (2017).
The daughter of a leader of the pro-North Korean movement in Japan, Yang Yonghi was separated from her brothers at a young age when they were sent to North Korea under a repatriation campaign. As the economic situation in the North deteriorated, the brothers became increasingly dependent for survival on the care packages sent by their parents. This autobiographical documentary shows Yang's visits to her brothers in Pyongyang, as well as conversations with her father about his ideological faith.
Zainichi. 映画戦後在日五〇年史製作委員会; O, Dokusu; Iinkai, Èiga Sengo Zainichi Gojūnenshi Seisaku; Kanopy (2016).
Portraying the fifty-year history of zainichi (long-term residents in Japan) Koreans after the liberation of Korea, traces of zainichi evoked in this film question the concepts of 'post-war democracy' and 'pacifism' in Japan. With copious stock footage and testimony, the first half of the film, "History," chronologically traces the various experiences of zainichi from Japan's defeat (Korean liberation) through 1990. The latter half, "People," focuses on first, second and third-generation zainichi respectively, vividly depicting how they live.. English subtitles were made by Noboru Tomonari at the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, Carleton College, with six students at Carleton: Narula Bilik, Joanna Lee, Mariko J. Long, Kelly Monroy, Katherine E. Morriss, and Erika Ohashi.
Cotton road. 李桢; Kissel, Laura K. (2017).
Americans consume nearly 20 billion new items of clothing each year. Yet few of us know how our clothes are made, much less who produces them. Cotton Road follows the commodity of cotton from South Carolina farms to Chinese factories to illuminate the work and industrial processes in a global supply chain.
2018 Upgrades from VHS
Ben's mill. Chalufour, Michel; Karol, John (2010).
Shows how, in northeastern Vermont, Ben Thresher operates his nineteenth-century, waterpowered mill to provide tubs, sleds, and tools needed by local farmers. Tells how, almost a century and a half old, his mill and mill technology were critical to America's development.
Myths and the moundbuilders. Chedd, Graham (2010).
The huge earthworks and mounds scattered through the eastern half of the United States prompted people in the nineteenth century to speculate that a lost civilization had preceded the Indians then living among the mounds. Though we've known for some time that the ancestors of those Indians actually built the mounds, archaeologists are still exploring their contents for a better understanding of their builders. Includes re-enactments of the work done by early anthropologists.
Hate groups USA. Chughtal, Zab (2009).
Using the shocking racist murder of James Byrd as a starting point, this disturbing program investigates America’s proliferating hate groups. The KKK’s Charles Lee; the founder of Aryan Nations and his successor, Pastor Neumann Britton; and William Pierce, head of the National Alliance and author of The Turner Diaries, calmly proclaim their chilling views on "racial patriotism" and "positive hate." Countering, Julian Bond, of the NAACP; Irv Rubin, national chairman of the Jewish Defense League; Robert Blitzer, bureau chief of the FBI’s domestic terrorism unit; and others explore the mentality of intolerance, abetted by the subversive Christian Identity movement
Skinheads USA. Cookson, Shari (2004).
Surveys white-supremacist skinhead hate groups active in the United States, specifically Georgia and Alabama. A film crew follows the U.S. white supremacist skinhead group, The Aryan National Front, over a two-month period. Marches, demonstrating against non-whites, meeting with the Ku Klux Klan, and interviews with the group's leader, Bill Riccio, explain the Nazi-inspired group's motivation. Covers an actual neo-Nazi skinhead organization's day-to-day activities at its headquarters, white power rallies and recruitment drives. Also visits The Jefferson County Jail where four skinheads were jailed for the murder of a homeless black man.
The good woman of Bangkok. O'Rourke, Dennis (1995).
A portrait of Aoi, a reluctant Thai prostitute who caters to the enthusiastic first world clientele who crowd the girlie bars of Patpong each night.