Batuque

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

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

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

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, 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

“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

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

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

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

Amis Hip Hop

Amis Hip Hop documents how a group of young Amis men in A’tolan have blended influences from contemporary social and cultural life in Taiwan with their traditional practice of ritual dance performance in the village. Rooted in the Amis ethos of respect for male age-grade organization, matrilineal affiliation, intimacy with the ocean, and appreciation of joking relationships, these young men

God Family

When the expensive copper leads are stolen from the Lin’s family in Kaohsiung, everyone starts to panic and wants to catch the thief. Even the grand daughter, who hardly comes home, becomes a member of the squad. To her surprise, though, the family is asking deities to help the family look for the leads and the thief. After the weird

Si Yabosokanen

I am Si Yabosokanen, nurse of Lanyu health center. In recent years, I have tried to feel how the tribes people confronted one’s aging, disease and death. I suddenly found a great difference between the phenomenon and the western medical concepts familiar to me. I began to realize tranquilly those maternal cultures totally unknown to me. At the moment, I