The Ethnological View


Nigeria, USA 2008 | 75 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU

The news of his Niger­ian father’s death catch­es Jar­reth Merz off guard. Now living and work­ing as a the­ater actor in Los Ange­les, his par­ents had orig­i­nal­ly met in Nige­ria. But soon after­wards, Jarreth’s German mother left his father and returned home, and Jar­reth grew up with his younger half-broth­er, Kevin, in Switzer­land. Jar­reth saw his father only three times prior to his death. Yet accord­ing to Niger­ian tra­di­tion, as the eldest son of the Niger­ian chief­tain, Jar­reth must arrange his funer­al. And so, accom­pa­nied by his hand­held-camera-toting half-broth­er, Jar­reth heads to Nige­ria to ful­fill this weighty respon­si­bil­i­ty. Once under the tute­lage of his long-lost Niger­ian family, Jar­reth not only learns how to prop­er­ly hold a chieftain’s staff, he receives a crash course in what it takes to sat­is­fy all inter­est­ed par­ties – earth­ly and spir­i­tu­al – in order to pro­vide the deceased and the bereaved a dig­ni­fied farewell. But what is one to do when the clan of the mother shows up demand­ing gifts in the middle of the cer­e­mo­ny? Or when all clan of the mother shows up demand­ing gifts in the middle of the cer­e­mo­ny? Or when all of the rites and cus­toms asso­ci­at­ed with a proper burial threat­en to bank­rupt the family? Jar­reth is forced to per­form a bal­anc­ing act between show­ing respect for tra­di­tion­al cus­toms and defend­ing him­self against seem­ing­ly arbi­trary demands. 


Francesco Uboldi
Camerun, Italy 2006 | 8 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Cameroon, 2005. A man is seized, dragged to a seclud­ed loca­tion, tied to a tree, and left to suffer a tor­tur­ous death by star­va­tion accord­ing to the pre­cepts of local … read more


Barbara Keifenheim
Germany 1984 | 64 Min. | DVD, OF
When our own image becomes the image of oth­er­ness: Ama­zo­nia, 1980. Imag­ine: Deep in the jungle, images of every­day life in Ger­many appear out of the dark­ness – images of … read more


Denmark, Papua New Guinea 2008 | 59 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU
What do anthro­pol­o­gists mean when they claim to study the cul­tur­al tra­di­tions of others by par­tic­i­pat­ing in them? This film fol­lows the Dutch anthro­pol­o­gist Ton Otto, who has been adopt­ed … read more


Manfred Krüger, Rolf Husmann
Germany 2008 | 60 Min. | BetaSP, OmeU
Asen Balik­ci and Visual Ethnography A por­trait of this clas­sic figure in visual anthro­pol­o­gy, taking us into the worlds inhab­it­ed by Cana­di­an Inuit, Afghan nomads, vil­lagers in Bul­gar­ia and in … read more