FILMKLUB 2014 at Weltmuseum Wien
DEALING WITH EXORCISM
Atêf Sitanala | Indonesia 2010 | 45 Min. | OmeU
This film gives a rare glimpse into the daily life of a village community on the Island of Ambon (Maluku Islands, Indonesia). Pastor Ina and her husband, Pastor Eddy, are leading a Pentecostal church community in the village of Suli. Almost every day they are confronted with cases of spirit possession, which are a well-known phenomenon called ‘Kesurupan’ or ‘Kemasukan’ in Indonesia. Yanti is one person they try to help, who claims to be possessed by ancestral evil spirits. These notions of different exorcisms are embedded in the traditional customary law Adat, which is connected to an unseen world of ancestors. The film puts focus on the Pentecostal point of view on these issues and how they deal with them as they influence everyday life.
SONGS OF MEMORY, SONGS OF LOSS
Erminia Colucci | Great Britain 2012 | 13 Min. | OmeU
Set in a village in Puglia in the south of Italy, „Songs of Memory, Songs of Loss“ is a personal ethnography documenting the search of a young woman to understand, since her childhood, her grandfather through the songs he sang as a prisoner during World War II. Now suffering from dementia, these songs represent the only window into her grandfather’s otherwise clouded mind.
Pary El-Qalqili | Germany 2012 | 70 Min. | OmeU
The Turtle’s Rage tells the mysterious story of a man, whose life evolves around escape, displacement, exile and the failed attempt to return to Palestine. A biography that is torn by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a daughter who is looking for answers he is, more often than not, incapable of providing. The narrative evolves around the journey of father and daughter through Egypt, Palestine and Jordan. There are quarrels at the airport, there is singing with taxi drivers, lonely nights in hotels, negotiations at abandoned gas stations and beer drinking in the Naqab desert. The Turtle’s Rage leaves us with little answers but offers a space to think in between sterile categories such as perpetrator and victim, good and evil and black and white.
Kim Longinotto | India 2010 | 96 Min. | OmeU
“I am the messiah of women! I am more powerful than the police!” – Sampat Pal. Meet the Gulabi Gang, a group of women dressed in defiantly pink saris, railing against India’s patriarchal caste system. They are led by Sampat Pal, a former child bride who now fights the subjugation and institutionalised beating of women. A divisive figure, she is at once a saviour for the mistreated, as well as a shameless self-promoter acutely aware of her own celebrity. UK filmmaker Kim Longinotto (Rough Aunties, MIFF 2008) refuses to deify Pal for her good deeds or condemn her for her faults, opting instead for an objective and complex portrayal. Social injustices collide with larger-than- life characters as Longinotto reveals a side of India too often ignored.
GRENZLAND – TERRA DI CONFINE
Ronny Trocker | Italy 2012 | 56 Min. | OmeU
“I grew up as part of the German-speaking minority in the north of Italy. Being part of a minority means to foremost be different from others. To be able to distinguish oneself seemed a matter of surviving. From this perspective, our country’s history has been told to us over and over again. An almost obsessive look at our own past that left little space for other perspectives.” The film takes a trip through South-Tyrol and presents the filmmaker’s personal view of the country in search of untold stories, while he does not serve the claim of producing a complete perspective.
Ward Collin | India, Belgium 2013 | 41 Min. | OmeU
On the vast plains of South-East India lies a village with a special connection to Belgium: Sevapur. In 1968, Belgian Lea Provo had a dream to build a village for the poorest and casteless. She sold all her possessions and moved to India to start a community based on equality and self-sufficiency. 15 years after ‘Mother’ Lea’s death,Motherless’ tells the story of four people who still live and work in Sevapur. Through testimonies and memories the film recreates the story of the unknown ‘Mother’ Lea who acquired an almost godlike status in her village. Having to stand on their own feet, the people of Sevapur now face the harsh reality in a changing world. What remains of Lea’s dream?
BOTTLE MASALA IN MOILE
Vaidehi Chitre | India 2012 | 38 Min. | OmeU
Als Nachkommen indigener Bevölkerungen Mumbais, steht die ostindische Gemeinschaft vor der Tatsache ihr Land rapide an Akteure im staatlichen sowie privatwirtschaftlichen Sektor zu verlieren, die dieses als rentalbe Grundstücke sieht. Für die Gemeinschaft als ganzes, besonders in städtischen Gegenden bedeutete das den Verlust einer wertvollen Verbindung zu jenem Boden, an dem auch Kultur und Geschichte gebunden sind. Aber für viele, besonders jene in ländlichen Gegenden wie Dharavi Island, bedeutete es vielmehr auch die Bedrohung ihrer Existenz.
Lalita Krishna | India, Canada 2012 | 74 Min. | OmeU
In Hindi, Mallamall literally means “bountiful goods”. Nowhere else in the world the markets are said to be so lively with their jewel-colored saris, aromatic spices, and personalities to match. But in cities like Bangalore, street vendors and small business owners are pitted against savvy developers of super-stores. Generations of small merchant families have survived and thrived in urban centers, but foreign companies such as Canada’s Perennial Design, are eager to capitalize on India’s $ 650 billion retail industry. As Canadian marketing guru Chris Lund affirms: “India is where we want to channel our energy.”India is undergoing a retail revolution in which the aspiring middle class is demanding more Western goods and services. Modern malls are thus muscling into the traditional marketplace, pushing India’s economic infrastructure to the limits and threatening to put thousands of bazaar owners and small farmers out of business.In her latest documentary, Mallamall, award-winning producer / director Lalita Krishna intimately portrays the challenges facing India’s rising middle class and the burgeoning retail sector, and looks at the impact of globalism through the lens of a nation trying to balance local consumer demands and foreign interests.
NGABEN – EMOTION AND RESTRAINT IN A BALINESE HEART
Robert Lemelson | Indonesia, USA 2012 | 16 Min. | OmeU
The Balinese cremation ceremony, or ngaben, has primarily been known in the West as either a major tourist attraction that dazzles visitors with the splendor, intricacy, and drama of its performance, or as fodder for long-standing anthropological arguments about personhood and emotion that debated whether or not Balinese people expressed, or even experienced, grief. According to Balinese Hindu beliefs, cremation is one of the most important steps in a person’s spiritual life, and a heavy responsibility to the family, because it is through cremation that the physical body is returned to its five constituent elements and the soul is cleansed and released from the body to ascend to heaven and be reincarnated. Ngaben – Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart takes an impressionistic look at the ngaben from the perspective of a mourning son, Nyoman Asub, and reveals the intimacy, sadness, and tenderness at the core of this funerary ritual and the feeling and force that underlie an exquisite cultural tradition. Amidst ample historical, interpretive, and political takes on the cremation ceremony, the film purposefully provides a personal, impressionistic, and poetic glimpse of the process and the complex emotions involved.
TAKSU – HERITAGE OF A BALINESE DANCER
Miho Nitta | Indonesia, Japan 2012 | 50 Min. | OmeU
“I am not feeling well today, my head is aching. But if I have to dance, the pain will go away. I always feel better when it comes to dancing.” In 2010, a maestro of Balinese dance passed away in Bali, Indonesia. Ni Ketut Cenik was 86 years old. Born into a poor family, she was first exposed to traditional Balinese dance as a little girl, and since then dedicated herself to it. Her strong desire for dance continued until the very last moment of her life. Ni Ketut Centik is best known for the dance “Joged Pingitan” which is a sacred dance drama where all characters in the Balinese folktale “Calonarang” are performed by a single dancer. Even with declining health, she kept dancing and put all her strenght into teaching the next generations “Joged Pingitan”. TAKSU – Heritage of a Balinese Dancer is a documentary about this extraordinary woman, depicting the dancer’s last stage in life. With the scenes of Cenik’s dance in rituals and her and the family’s interviews, this film explores the profoundness of the traditional Balinese dance and the true meaning of success in dance through generations, shown with one woman’s devotion of her life to dance. And through it we learn and see what the word “TAKSU” really means.
SONGS FOR THE SPIRITS
Wang Qingren | China 2013 | 88 Min. | OmeU
Songs for the Spirits shows the relentless efforts of Lin Zhonshu, head of the village Qujiaying in the Hebei Province (China) and director of the Qujiaying Music Association, to preserve the traditional Quijiang music. On March 28, 1986 Lin Zhongshu and his fellow villagers finally came to understand that the village music association, a tradition passed down for centuries from generation to generation, is a treasure of Chinese cultural tradition. Ever since then, he fights for the preservation of these traditions – for example with the new yearly festival on March 28 in honor of the “Day of Realization”. On this occasion, the members of the Music Association do everything they can to attract officials, experts, and reporters to help them celebrate and understand the importance of those traditions. The training of the next generation is also an on-going process. However, under economic pressure, most of them leave to find jobs elsewhere, which in turn leaves the Association without young new leaders. The film shows Lin Zhonshu’s impressive tilt at windmills.
PEOPLE OF A FEATHER
Joel Heath | Canada 2011 | 90 Min. | OmeU
This film takes you into the world of Inuit on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. Connecting past, present and future it is a unique cultural relationship with the eider duck. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters. Recreations of traditional life are juxtaposed with modern life in Sanikiluaq, as both people and eiders face the challenges posed by changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering eastern North America. The eyes of a remote subsistence culture challenge the world to find energy solutions that work with the seasons of our hydrological cycle.