Retrospective, Dennis O'Rourke

CANNIBAL TOURS

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1988 | 70 Min. | 35 mm, OmU
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke

»I wonder if their way of life is better than ours, truly living with nature?«
»The experts say that they are happy, well-fed, satisfied.«
»That’s right. The prob­lem is apathy and indolence.«
»But we must try to help them to advance in the world. To edu­cate and stim­u­late them to behave differently.«

This dia­logue is part of a dis­cus­sion amongst tourists who cruise the river Sepik in Papua New Guinea on a luxury cruis­ing boat after they have vis­it­ed one of the local vil­lages. CANNIBAL TOURS inves­ti­gates the dif­fer­ences and the strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties that show up when socalled »civ­i­lized« people meet socalled »prim­i­tive« ones. Accord­ing to Dennis O’Rourke this film shows two jour­neys: The cruise itself and a trip in the meta­phys­i­cal sense of the word. This second jour­ney is an attempt to dis­cov­er the place of the ‚other’ in the pop­u­lar imag­i­na­tion, to look behind that shift­ing con­cept of civ­i­liza­tion, where modern mass-cul­ture grates and pushes against those orig­i­nal, essen­tial aspects of human­i­ty, and where much of what passes for ‚values’ in west­ern cul­ture, is exposed in stark relief as banal and fake. 

In a humoris­tic way, O’Rourke lets the vis­i­tors com­ment on the vis­it­ed and the other way round.

HALF LIFE, A PARABLE FOR THE NUCLEAR AGE

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1985 | 86 Min. | 35 mm, OmU
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke
Short­ly after the nuclear bomb­ing of Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki, the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary wanted to find a ‚suit­able’ site for fur­ther nuclear test­ing. They choose the Mar­shall Islands, a group of … read more

ILEKSEN – Elections

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1978 | 58 Min. | 16 mm, OF
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke
ILEKSEN (pidgin word for »elec­tion«) is sort of a sequel of Dennis O’Rourke’s first film YUMI YET in which he cap­tures Papua New Guinea’s cer­e­mo­ny of inde­pen­dence in 1975. Now … read more

SHARKCALLERS OF KONTU

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1982 | 54 Min. | 16 mm, OF
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke
For cen­turies the men of Kontu, a small island off the coast of New Ire­land, have caught sharks in a tra­di­tion­al way. After having under­gone exten­sive ritual purifi­ca­tion they go … read more

THE GOOD WOMAN OF BANGKOK

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1991 | 82 Min. | 35 mm, OmU
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke
This film is a doc­u­men­tary about pros­ti­tu­tion, despict­ing the phe­nom­e­non as a metaphor for cap­i­tal­ism and for rela­tion­ships between men and women in gen­er­al, and as in this spe­cial case … read more

YUMI YET

INDEPENDENCE FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1976 | 54 Min. | 16 mm, OmeU
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke
In 1975 a period of one hun­dred years of colo­nial­ism came to an end for Papua New Guinea. A pop­u­la­tion of three mil­lion people, speak­ing a total of about 700 … read more