TIEFF 2007

Retrospect Days of White Terrors

Kaleh Kalahe, Pisuy Silan

All the discussion over the White Terrors, be it in the books or in the images, takes largely the Hans as subjective and concerns less the treatment exerted on the Taiwanese aboriginals during the period of martial law. In an era of reticence, the aboriginals also followed suit in the fear of making even the slightest mistake which would lead…

Conversation of Tali and Yaki

Halugu Watan

Ptasan is the most vivid totem of the Atayal culture. After the Japanese took control of Taiwan, Ptasan was banned because it was considered a barbarian act. Now, when Ptasan is nearly unseen or unheard of, one Atayal young man, Taliana Yilou, decides to give himself Ptasan. As a young man under 30 years of age, Tali does not have…

When the Village Encounters the Country

Pisuy Masaw, Vikung LaLegeam

“When the Village Encounters the Country” is a representation of the suppression the aborigines faced in the country system for the past thousands of years. This is a record of the Smangus people protesting to the regime of the country. A chain reaction was caused after they made the plea, including forcing the government to recognize the traditional territory of…

Walking Dancing Belonging

Mitch Torres

Three women share their art and their experience of being in country. They share a sense of belonging to a place and walking in it, dancing with it as the songs of country and culture resonate in their artistic expression. Each artist with a personal interpretation of country presents a selection of artworks that reflect the multi-faceted colours of Kimberley…

Sunset to Sunrise

Allan Collins

A documentary that carries the words of Rupert Max Stuart, Arrernte Mat-utjarra Elder, his philosophies and message about passing culture on and keeping it alive. Sunset to Sunrise is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means ‘ours’ in the Pitjanjatjara and Arrernte lanuages, and the series aims to contribute…

Yellow Fella

Ivan Sen

”I’m not black, I’m not white, I’m a yellow fella and I’m gonna stay that way”. In 1978, Tom Lewis appeared in the Australian feature film, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. The life of the character he played was hauntingly close to his own, a young, restless man of mixed heritage, struggling for a foothold on the edge of two…

Imbe Gikegu, The Smell of Pequi Fruit

Maricá Kuikuru, Takumã Kuikuru

As the dry season comes to an end, it’s the time of celebration and merriment in the Alto Xingu. The smell of the damp earth is mixed with the sweet perfume of pequi. But it has not always been like that: if it had not been for a death, the pequi would possibly not exist. Linking the past to the…

Marangmotxingmo Mirang , From the Ikpeng Children to the World

Karané Txicão, Kumaré Txicão, Natuyu Yuwipo Txicão

Answering a video-letter from the children from Sierra Maestra in Cuba, four Ikpeng children, filmed by videomakers from their community, introduce their village—its leaders, their friends, adult work; they show their families, their toys, their celebrations and their way of life with grace and lightheartedness – in a video letter addressed to children from other cultures they are curious to…

Video in the Villages Presents Itself

Mari Correa, Vincent Carelli

In 1987, The Video in the Villages project was founded in Brazil to give indigenous people control over their own representation, and to give them the power to use the media for their goals. This video documents the process of training and the first videos made by the project’s indigenous videomakers. It also shows the national conferences where indigenous producers…

Dear Rice Wine, You are Defeated

Mayaw Biho

Cepo, the estuary of Siouguluan River, is said to be the landing point where the Pangcah ancestor first stepped on Taiwan. The Makutaay Tribe here have maintained the traditional age system. The young generation will have an “upgrade” ritual every 4 years when the youngsters who work in the cities will return home for the special occasion. When the young…

Carry the Paramount of Jade Mountain on My Back

Mayaw Biho

The Bunun is a High Mountainous tribe, inhabiting in the area of the Central Mountain Range. Most Bunun aborigines are skillful mountain climbers, and are sometimes called the “sherpas” of Taiwan. They have been often hired as guides even up until today. Although back in the early days their work was considered as porterage, assisting mountaineers in carrying their heavy…

Children in Heaven

Mayaw Biho

The tribe living under the San-ying Bridge is charged with violation of the Water Act every year and will witness the powerful, which is rarely seen, execution of the government’s law enforcement that vacates even the shattered construction material after the demolition. On the other hand, the sand processing plant on the right side of the tribe grows bigger and…

Water Land Life-H2opi Run to Mexico

Victor Masayesva

The tremendous grassroots effort led by Black Mesa Trust to stop Peabody Mining Company from pumping pristine drinking water to transport coal was accomplished on December 31, 2005. With the termination of coal revenues the Hopi villages considered their future survival, reflecting on the traditional beliefs that have carried them through similar hard times over a millennium in the Southwest.…

Imaging Indians

Victor Masayesva

Having visited tribal communities in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Washington and the Amazon to produce this film, director Victor Masayesva says, “Coming from a village which became embroiled in the filming of Darkwind, a Hollywood production on the Hopi Reservation, I felt a keen responsibility as a community member, not an individual, to address these impositions on our…

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny

Mark Sandiford

For centuries Inuit have been studying white people. Now, revealed for the first time, the results of their research into one of the most perplexing societies on earth. Qallunaat! Why White People are Funny is an irreverent look at Western Civilization through Inuit eyes. Inspired by the satirical essays of Zebedee Nungak, the film turns the tables on generations of…

Batuque

Julio Silvao Tavares

In 1462, the first African slaves were settled on the island of Cape Verde brought by the Portuguese colony. It is supposed that they were the first inhabitants of the archipelagos. They carried with them the rhythms and the seeds of what became the Batuque: a music form, performed mostly by women, both singers and dancers. The singers repeat very…

Seasons of Migration

John Bishop

Seasons of Migration is a dance about culture shock, and the film combines the performance with the choreographer’s and dancer’s commentary, and stories of the troubles and triumphs of Cambodians who emigrated to Long Beach, California. Sophiline Cheam Shapiro grew up in Pol Pot’s camps; as a teenager she trained as a Cambodian classical dancer, later emigrating to the United…

The Turcisce Carnival

Ivo Kuzmanic

Turčišće is a northern Croatian village famous for its traditional wooden carnival masks lafras. During the past 40 years the play was no longer performed in the village itself since the performers preferred to go to other places and visit other carnivals on that particular day. Nevertheless, in the February of 2004 the people of Turčišće were prepared to perform…

Ngat is Dead: Studying Mortuary Traditions

Christian Suhr Nielsen, Ton Otto

The Dutch anthropologist Ton Otto returns to the Melanesian island Baluan after the death of his adoptive father, Ngat. According to local tradition he has to participate in a mortuary ceremony together with his adopted siblings, but the ceremony, his father wanted him to do, has already been performed. Now Ton has to find out what would be an appropriate…

Dancing Kathmandu

Sangita Shresthova

Sangita, a dancer of Czech-Nepali origin, journeys to Kathmandu to explore how practitioners in the Himalayan Kingdom negotiate Nepal’s dance traditions in a period of rapid cultural change. In her attempts to map the current situation of dance in Kathmandu valley, she encounters her own teachers as well as younger dancers currently finding their way. Dancing Kathmandu tells stories of…

The Importance of Being MLABRI

Janus Billeskov Jansen

“MLABRI marry MLABRI”. But what will young IDang do, when there are no Mlabri girls around? Chalat is leaving for boarding school. His mother asks: will he ever come back? As a child Chuwit roamed the jungles with his parents. He knows Mlabri life is about to change radically, and he wishes to have a say, but will he get…

On the Road With the Red God

Kesang Tseten

Every 12 years, impassioned devotees pull a 65-feet tall unwieldy chariot in the Kathmandu Valley, its rider an enigmatic god worshipped by Hindu and Buddhist, on a months-long journey proceeded by abundant ritual and animal sacrifice. The enterprise calls for extreme cooperation and rigorous observance of ritual in the building, sanctification and pulling of the chariot. But the jatra (festival)…

Ghanaian Video Tales

Tobias Wendl

A tribute to the syncretism of cinema and the power of imagination, Ghanaian Video Tales introduces the exciting and unique genre of African horror movies – and the filmmakers behind it. Since the early 1990s video technology has deeply changed the African media world. Easy handling and affordable cost of production have enabled filmmakers to tell their own stories for…

Plant Wars

Asio Liu

No plant in the world is exotic. For the plants, we are foreign. The theme of Plant Wars concerns ‘exotic’ plants, ‘indigenous’ plants, ‘special’ plants and battles among them, as well as some of our ‘imaginations’ over the battles. Among the people in the stories, some climb the trees, some sing, some miss their deceased espouses, some live by the…

Cabal in Kabul

Dan Alexe

This is the story of the last two Jews in Afghanistan. All the other Jews have left a long time ago. Isaac and Zabulon live alone in the abandoned synagogue… For the past ten years, Zabulon and Isaac, the two remaining Jews in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, have been living in the courtyard of Kabul’s old synagogue. The elderly…

Angry Monk – Reflections on Tibet

Luc Schaedler

Angry Monk is a road-movie and a time-travel in the footsteps of the rebellious Tibetan monk Gendun Choephel (1903-51), revealing a face of old and present-day Tibet that goes against popular clichés. A free spirit, Choephel was far ahead of his time and has since become a seminal figure, a symbol of hope for a free Tibet. A rebel and…

Mahaleo

Cesar Paes, Raymond Rajaonarivelo

In Malagasy, “Mahaleo” means free, independent. Mahaleo’s voices and music have accompanied the people of Madagascar ever since the collapse of the colonial regime. Yet, even after 30 years of success, the group’s seven musicians still keep their distance from the world of show-business, and remain deeply committed to helping their country’s development; their professions range from surgeon to farmer,…

My Daughter the Terrorist

Beate Arnestad

Like many Sri Lankan families, Dharsika’s father died in the war. She stayed with the family just long enough to bury her father, then disappeared into the guerilla’s hands. Dharsika and Puhalchudar have a close friendship. For seven years they have been eating, sleeping, training and fighting side by side. They belong to the last batch of the Black Tigers,…

On a Tight Rope

Petr Lom

This is a lyrical film about four children living in an orphanage in Xinjiang province, China. The children are Uighurs, members of China’s eight million strong largest Muslim minority. To prevent Uighur separatism, China enforces a policy of cultural and political assimilation in Xinjiang: religion is particularly targeted. (Human Rights Watch reports that 10 000 Uighurs are political prisoners, and…

The Bimo Records

Yang Rui

In the Daliang Mountain region of Sichuan China, lives the ancient tribal Yi minority. Their priests are called Bimo.For hundreds even thousands of years, the Bimo have relied on memorized scriptures to communicate their people’s desires with the ghosts and spirits of the world.This film follows the story of three very different Bimos. The Spell Casting Bimo comes from a…

Two Homelands Cuba and the Night

Christian Liffers

Framed by the beautiful poetry of the oppressed Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, this revealing documentary features memorable portraits of five gay men and one transsexual woman living in and around Havana. Their disparate stories and candid interviews dispel myths while demonstrating a range of experience, opinion and social status: A vibrant nineteen year old, Raudel attends illegal gay parties, since…

The Ecstatic

Till Passow

According to the belief of ‘Sufis’, the mystical Islamic, ‘Mast’ is someone who walks the road of love to reach his beloved Saint, one who is in a state of ecstasy, absorbed in an inner rhythm of meditation and trance in his search for spiritual love. ‘Mast Qalandar’ was a Sufi Saint, who settled down in Sehwan Sharif in the…

Chichester’s Choice

Simonee Chichester

Chichester’s Choice follows filmmaker, Simonee as she investigates the life of her homeless father, Edgar Chichester who abandoned her at six years old. Twenty-three years later, Simonee journeys to the streets of Guyana and Brazil to find and reunite with her father in the hopes of forgiving and understanding him while coming to terms with who she is. It is…

City of Memories

Lee Ching-hui

“City of Memories” depicts the lives of elderly people living in a Taipei nursery home: their agony, longing and loneliness. Images of winterly Taipei, with its drizzling rain and gloomy sky, reflect these aged women’s fading mind. In the midst of all the suffering, the women’s ballad singing and story telling bring back the emotional memories of their love lives.…

Songs of Pastaay

Hu Tai-Li, Lee Daw-ming

The Pasta’ay, which means the festival of the legendary little people, is a significant ritual held every other year in the Saisiat aborigine group in Taiwan. Every ten years, they hold the Great Ritual. This film focuses on the Great Ritual in 1986. It tries to convey the Saisiat people’s affection for and belief in the legendary little people. At…

Pas-taai – The Saisiyat Ceremony in 1936

Nobuto Miyamoto

From late November to early December in 1936, Utsurikawa Nenozo, professor of Institute of Ethnology, Imperial Taihoku University, guided his assistant Myamoto Nobuto to the Ta-ai ceremony ground in Hsinchu’s Five Finger Mountain area to investigate the Saisiyat ceremony, Pas-taai. With cameras, they documented the lively large-scale sacred events which lasted for days. Through the precious images, the people and…

Dead Birds

Robert Gardner

Dead Birds is a film about the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem high in the mountains of West Papua. When I shot the film in 1961, the Dani had a classic Neolithic culture. They were exceptional in the way they dedicated themselves to an elaborate system of ritual warfare. Neighboring groups, separated by uncultivated…