30 Anniversary, A Review in Films

Black girl

Adrián Arce, Ousmane Semène
Senegal | OmeU
In his pio­neer­ing film the great Sene­galese author and direc­tor explores the com­plex dynam­ics of the imme­di­ate post-colo­nial period through the simple, dev­as­tat­ing story of a young woman. Dioua­na lives … read more

First Contact

Bob Connolly, Robin Anderson
Australia | original

The Aus­tralian broth­ers Michael, Dan, and James Leahy were the first white people to go on an expe­di­tion from 1930 to 1934 to the unchart­ed moun­tain­ous area of New Guinea, look­ing for gold. Unlike other adven­tur­ers, they had a camera with them. 50 years later, Bob Con­nol­ly and Robin Ander­son fol­lowed in the foot­steps of these “con­quis­ta­dors” in this movie in which they show orig­i­nal film mate­r­i­al togeth­er with state­ments by sur­viv­ing indige­nous people who remem­ber the Leahys. Much has hap­pened in the years between when the first images were record­ed by the Leahy broth­ers and these new scenes. Colo­nial­ism, his­to­ry, and accul­tur­a­tion occur between the images and are only vis­i­ble in the dis­crep­an­cy between then and now. (see Die Frem­den sehen, Trick­ster Verlag 1984)

The Papuans tell how they thought the white men were their ances­tors, bleached by the sun and returned from the dead. They were amazed at the arti­facts of 20th cen­tu­ry life such as tin cans, phono­graphs and air­planes. When shown their younger, inno­cent selves in the found footage, they recall the darker side of their rela­tion­ship with these mys­te­ri­ous beings with dev­as­tat­ing weapons”. (…) FIRST CONTACT is one of those rare films that holds an audi­ence spell­bound. Humor and pathos are com­bined in this clas­sic story of colo­nial­ism, told by the people who were there.” (Doc­u­men­tary Edu­ca­tion­al Resources)

Forest of bliss

Robert Gardner
USA | OmeU
“I thought that the audi­ence would not simply wait for the mys­ter­ies to be dis­pelled but would come up with their own solu­tions, supply their own answers, and so, in … read more

Gbanga Tita

Thierry Knauff
Belgium, France | OmU
The Baka pyg­mies live in the rain forest of south­ern Cameroon. Lengé is the sto­ry­teller of his tribe. For seven min­utes, the camera films the old man’s slight­ly sway­ing body … read more

İQué viva México!

Grigorij Alexandrov, Sergej M. Eisenstein
Sergei Eisen­stein planned to make an opus magnum about Mexico and its cul­ture. He wanted to cap­ture the spirit of Mexico in a film with a pro­logue, four episodes, and … read more

Photo Wallahs

David MacDougall
Australia, England | OmeU
Renowned ethno­graph­ic film­mak­ers David and Judith Mac­Dougall explore the many mean­ings of pho­tog­ra­phy in this pro­found and pen­e­trat­ing doc­u­men­tary. The film focus­es on the pho­tog­ra­phers of Mus­soorie, a hill sta­tion … read more

The day of a casual dock worker

Hubert Fichte, Leonore Mau
Germany | original
“He gets up around five, when the man who is writ­ing about him goes to bed.” This is how the author Hubert Fichte begins his story about the “casual dock … read more

The fish market and the fish

Hubert Fichte, Leonore Mau
Germany | original
This film shows pic­tures of daily life in the Por­tuguese fish­ing vil­lage Ses­im­bra, south of Lisbon, during Salazar’s dic­ta­tor­ship in 1964. Mau’s pho­tographs of fish dis­played in geo­met­ric pat­terns and … read more

Three Times Piparsod: Life in an Indian Village

Jean-Luc Chambard, Raymond Depardon, Saeed Akhtar Mirza
France, India | original
It all began with the idea to ini­ti­ate a cul­tur­al exchange: Two film­mak­ers, an Indian and a French­man, were to create their own per­son­al take on the same sub­ject. Both … read more