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ethnographic film

This tag is associated with 34 posts

These Birds Walk

“First-time directors Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq intended to make a documentary about Abdul Sattar Edhi, a philanthropist who has opened literally hundreds of facilities for Pakistan’s impoverished citizens; but when Edhi suggested they focus on his work rather than on him, they shifted their focus to an ambulance driver employed at one of his … Continue reading

Tropical Amsterdam

Tropical Amsterdam is a story about many things. Using the platform of the few remaining Dutch in Sri Lanka, a hangover from colonial times, Alexa Schulz tells a poignant tale of a community on the verge of extinction. Most of the “Burghers” were children during colonial times, and now, as adults, appear to struggle somewhat … Continue reading

Unreliable narrative in documentary film

A few short thoughts: From Monastery to Catwalk: The Miss Tibet Beauty Pageant is a short documentary raising many important issues surrounding Tibetan politics as well as women in Tibet. For all its positives, however, it does nothing to sell Tibetan culture as one that behaves fairly towards women, mostly due to the main character … Continue reading

Casablanca Calling & issues of cultural and religious access

Casablanca Calling was shown as part of the DOK Leipzig festival on Tuesday afternoon. I acted as moderator at the screening and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk to Hilary, the producer, about some of the issues she encountered when making the film. Access is something that many documentary film-makers struggle with, … Continue reading

Ethnographic fiction and reality: Geisha Girl

Recently I have been thinking a lot about ethnographic fiction. The above documentary I watched for the first time shortly after reading Arthur Golden’s beloved fictionalised account of life as a Geisha in Kyoto in the early 1900s, Memoirs of a Geisha. I didn’t realise until halfway through the book that the account was fictional. … Continue reading