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 … read more

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 on the line between race and cul­ture. GOOD WOMAN OF BANGKOK is also a film about the voyeuris­tic ten­den­cies inher­ent in making a film and watch­ing one. When O’Rourke was fourty-three his mar­riage broke. In the months and years to come, he tried to under­stand why love can be so banal and pro­found at the same time. He decid­ed to go to Bangkok, the Mecca for west­ern men with fan­tasies about exotic sex and love with­out pain. He wanted to meet a Thai pros­ti­tute and to make a film about her. And he wanted to fall in love. As a cus­tomer, O’Rourke gets to know Aoi, falls in love with her and stays for a nine-months rela­tion­ship. Per­son­al­ly involved, O’Rourke offers a view through Aoi’s eyes into her per­son­al sit­u­a­tion and how eco­nom­ic cir­cum­stances force her and others into pros­ti­tu­tion. He wants to help her to escape from that kind of life and offers to buy her and her family a rice­farm. She accepts the offer, but refus­es his love. As indi­cat­ed in the film’s title, O’Rourke aims to tell a para­ble in Brecht’s sense about the impos­si­bil­i­ty to live a good life in an unper­fect world.

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