Black Harvest

Joe Leahy is the half-caste son of one of the first explorers of the Papua New Guinea highland interior. His relations with the local Ganiga tribe who work his coffee plantation on their land are difficult at times. However he has successfully managed to get them to agree to open a second plantation in partnership with him. Things are looking up until the international coffee market hits rough times and conflict seems imminent between the Ganiga and their neighbouring traditional enemies.

Paradise Bent

Paradise Bent is one of the world’s first studies of the Samoan fa’afafines: boys who are raised as girls and play an important domestic role in Samoan culture. The anthropological spotlight has shone on Samoa many times this century. But there has been no mention of fa’afafines-is it possible the anthropologists just didn’t notice them? According to the Samoans, fa’afafines have a long history in their culture. The traditional role of the fa’afafines is now under threat as the Western drag scene filters into Samoa. The older fa’afafines are not impressed. Through our main character, Cindy, we see the complexities of life facing the modern day fa’afafines in paradise.

Cannibal Tours

“There is nothing so strange in a strange land as the stranger who comes to visit it.”

When tourists journey to the furthermost reaches of the Sepik River, is it the indigenous tribes people or the white visitors who are the cultural oddity? This film explores the differences (and the surprising similarities) that emerge when “civilized” and “primitive” people meet. With dry humor and acute observation CANNIBAL TOURS explodes cultural assumptions as it provides a pointed look at a fabulous phenomenon.

Half Life: A Parable for the Nuclear Age

Soon after dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the American military began looking for an “appropriate” place to test its nuclear weapons. They chose the Marshall Islands—tiny atolls in the mid-Pacific-for a number of reasons. The United States had recently taken these islands from Japan, they were a long way from America and they were populated by a small, and politically powerless group of natives. During the next decade the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission exploded at least sixty-six atomic and hydrogen bombs on these islands, contaminating them for centuries to come. HALF LIFE presents evidence that the U.S. government intentionally chose not to evacuate several populated atolls in order to establish the islanders as a control group—human guinea pigs—to test the long-and short-term effects of nuclear fallout.

The Sharcallers of Kontu

A performance of the kris dance, a Balinese ceremonial dance drama in which the never-ending struggle between the witch and the dragon—the death-dealing and the life-protecting—as it is given in the village of Pagoetan from 1937-39. The dancers go into violent trance seizures and turn their kris (dagger) against their breats without injury. Consciousness is restored with incense and holy water. Balinese music forms a background for Dr. Margaret Mead’s narration.