Filmreihe 2019

FILMREIHE 2019 at Weltmuseum Wien



Maria Müller | Germany 2010 | 73 Min. | OV

Three muslim women, three generations, one family – “Hüllen” portraits Sevim (78), Emel (49) and Sumeyye (26). Emel Zeynelabidin who takes off the headscarf after 30 years of wearing one, is the story’s central point. With a focus on the tangled web of family relationships, the movie broaches the issues of religion and identity and shows facets of the interplay of veiling and unveiling. Emel shares her personal view on the border zones between the canon of religion and individual responsibility, between dogmatism and tolerance.


Sabrina Begović Ćorić, Nejra Latić Hulusić |Bosnia & Herzegovina2017 | 53 Min. | OV with engl. Subtitles

There is a piece of clothing that became scandalous after September 11th, 2001. A head scarf. In 2011, a big debate about whether Muslim women should be allowed to wear head scarves in public places was raised. Meanwhile, in Bosnia & Herzegovina, in a post-war and post-communistic society young generations of Muslim women are deciding to wear headscarfs as a symbol of free expression of their faith and rebellion against capitalistic vision of liberated woman.


Kim Longinotto | India 2010 | 97 Min. | OV with engl. Subtitles

Sampat Pal, an illiterate, low-caste woman, set up the Gulabi Gang because of all the injustice and helplessness she’d experienced in her life. Hundreds of women, all dressed in bright fuchsia saris, would gather to make a corrupt policeman enforce the law or to challenge a violent husband. Sampat, the ‘Commander in Chief’ of this group, is now famous throughout Uttar Pradesh. At the heart of ‘Pink Saris’ are four young women who we meet when they come to Sampat for help. They are all at a great crisis in their lives and see Sampat as their last hope. We watch their stories unfold; we know they are stories which are being played out countless times across India.


Yasmin Moll | USA, 2009 | 23 Min. | OV

Fashioning Faith takes a behind the scenes look at the emerging world of Islamic fashion and US-based clothing designers who make it possible. The film interweaves interviews and verité footage from a diverse array of Muslim women with one goal in common – to express their faith through fashion. Through these women’s stories, Fashioning Faith takes viewers on a colorful exploration of a world where fashion and faith fuse with often surprising results.

Vanessa Langer | Yemen, Switzerland 2004 | 29 Min. | OV with engl. Subtitles 

In Yemen, the land of Queen Saba, a wide variety of veils can be found. In the capital Sana’a, the women, although at first sight appearing to all be wearing but black, distinguish themselves one from the other through this diversity. Each veil not only carries its own symbolism, but the variety of ways of wearing each becomes a form of expression. It becomes a game of what one hides and what one unveils. Approaching the veil from a fashion standpoint, this film offers a different perspective on this highly and debated topic.


Ascan Breuer | Indonesia, Austria 2013 | 87 Min. | OmeU

It is only the second time that Indonesians can vote for their own president. Two charismatic women, however, are not satisfied with mere elections. Grandma Dela, who lives in a slum of the tropical megacity, and the intellectual Wardah Hafidz are setting out to collect 1.5 million signatures of the poorest, who are constantly threatened by the local arbitrary justice and the desires of the global capital. Can the power of a small elite really be overthrown by the power of many, or is “real democracy“ just an ideal?


Jimmy Goldblum, Adam Weber | India, USA 2014 | 82 Min. | OmeU

Kathputli is a place of fading traditions. For half a century 2,800 artist families have called its narrow alleyways home; there are jugglers and acrobats, puppeteers and painters, folk singers and magicians, many of whom are well-respected artists in India and abroad. In 2009 the New Delhi government sold Kathputli to developers for a fraction of its worth. The land is to be bulldozed to make room for the city’s first-ever skyscraper, The Raheja Phoenix. We follow three of Kathputli’s most-talented performers as they wrangle with the reality of their approaching eviction.


Hendrick Dusollier | France, China 2017 | 60 Min. | OmeU

In the Chinese city of Chongqing, only one old neighborhood, Shibati, has survived the government’s drive to demolish and rebuild. But not for long: here too, the narrow alleyways are being replaced by vast shopping centers. To document what will soon have disappeared for good, filmmaker Hendrick Dusollier spends several months in the neighborhood. The filmmaker befriends the young Zhou Hong and the extraordinary Mrs Xue Lian, last witnesses of a world abut to disappear.


Eva Knopf | Myanmar, Germany 2017 | 79 Min. | OmeU

Until recently Myanmar (also known as Burma) was a military dictatorship closed off from the rest of the world. Ever since a democratisation process started, the country opened up – politically as well as economically. Investors and multinational companies see Myanmar as the last blank spot on their map of globalization and hope for huge profits in the yet “untouched” market. Filmmaker Eva Knopf allows the audience to experience the profound change the country is experiencing by featuring Burmese people and their attempts to navigate between the new opportunities and their traditional values.


Adeline Gonin | Mali, France 2015 | 57 Min. | OmeU

Oumou left her village when she was 14 to come to work as a maid in Bamako, Malis capital. Endless days, humiliation, pittance… Like hundreds of thousands of her fellows, she endures harsh life with hope for a better life. By night, these “little maids” gather to express their resentment. Helped by some activists, some of them begin to organize themselves so as to defend their rights. Meanwhile, Hawa is about to leave her village and come for the first time to the city…


Anneta Papathanassiou | Pakistan, Greece 2011 | 80 Min. | OmeU

In the mountains of Hindu Kush, in Pakistan, amongst 165 million Muslims, unfolds the story of 4,000 Kalasha, an ancient tribe that worships nymphs, gods and fairies.  Kalasha women are strong and, oddly enough, free. Shamim is the first woman who studied at the university. She dreams of working with the NGO “Greek Volunteers” that organizes development projects which help her tribe.But a sudden kidnap upsets Shamim and the whole community. 


Jana Richter, Rike Holtz | Bolivia, Germany 2009 | 70 min | OmeU

What THEY want, THEY get. If THEY don’t do it, nobody does it. THEY can lose, but that just means that they will continue fighting. With their colourful glittering skirts, THEY are like flowers on the tarmac. And of course, THEY are stronger than all the men in the world. THEY are Cholitas and they are wrestlers. THEY fight on the stage to show us that this world can change. Lucha Libre (Wrestling) is a mix of sport, theatre, and choreography. We get to know Rosita the Heartbreaker, Carmen Rosa the Champion, Yolanda the Passionate and Claudina the Condemned.


Roser Corella | Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Spain 2017 | 85 Min. | OmeU

Since Kyrgyzstan gained its Independence in 1991, there has been a revival of the ancient practice of Ala-Kachuu, which translates roughly as “grab and run”. More than half Kyrgyz women are married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands. Some escaped after violent ordeals, but most are persuaded to stay by tradition and fear of scandal. Although the practice is said to have its root in nomadic customs, the tradition remains at odds with modern Kyrgyzstan. Ala-Kachuu was outlawed during the Soviet era and remains illegal under the Kyrgyz criminal code, but the law has rarely been enforced to protect women from this violent practice.


Cláudia Varejão | Japan, Portugal 2016 | 113 Min. | OmeU

For these women, sea-life begins during cherry blossom time. Each on their own, yet bound together through sisterly, generation-spanning solidarity, they set sail on a small cutter. Without air tanks or other aids, they dive to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, hunting seafood. Each movement an artifice, that combines perfection and aesthetics of this 2000-year-old tradition. This film offers intimate insights into practices that push their bodies to the limits of their capacities – under water and on land, securing the family income: self-determination and individuality in Japanese.


Gilles Laurent | Japan, Belgium 2016 | 74 Min. | OmeU

In the evacuated zone around the nuclear plant of Fukushima, five years after the catastrophe, the village of Tomioka is still abandoned and empty of its five thousand inhabitants. A few rare individuals still live there, however, pacing a land burning with radiation. Yet the “decontamination” works in the zone seem pretty derisory and vain given the scale of the quake on both the human and environmental levels. On this sick, abandoned land, the peaceful existence and rational irrationality of these few diehards reminds us that a patch of land is, in the final analysis, our strongest bond to the world.


Ya’asib Vázquez | Mexico 2017 | 95 Min. | OmeU

Takeda talks about the universality of the human being seen through the eyes of a Japanese painter that has adopted the ancient Mexican culture, merging in his art two apparently unknown and different worlds. Shinzaburo Takeda arrived to Mexico fifty years ago and has been shaping a great school of art in the city of Oaxaca for three decades, giving to his students not only his pictorial technique, but more importantly helping them discover their true identity, and in that way helping them to live and develop his own art.


John Bishop, Naomi Bishop | Nepal 1997  | 76 Min. | OmeU

Himalayan Herders is an intimate portrait of a temple-village in the Yolmo valley of Central Nepal where Tibetan Buddhists consult shamans, married life begins by kidnapping the bride, and the nearest road is a two-day walk away. The community drama of marriage, death, and rituals is juxtaposed with the rich texture of daily life, both in the village and the surrounding mountains and forest where these pastoralists herd zomo, a cross between a cow and a yak. Cultural change, in the form of a government primary school, incorporation into a national park, and circular migration for wage labor outside Nepal, are pressing issues discussed by the residents. 


Marina Hufnagel | Germany 2017 | 46 Min. | OmeU

The Annapurna Trek is one of the most popular hikes in the Nepalese Himalayas. Tourists looking for a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience mix with nepalese locals, passing one other in a stream of momentary encounter, never to meet again. Impressions come and go. But what remains in our memories? The film challenges our perception of time and dislocates us from the known world. A film-essay on strangeness, loneliness and human perception.


Yan Chun Su | Tibet, USA, China 2016 | 79 Min. | OmeU

Set in the high plateau of eastern Tibet, DROKPA is an intimate portrait of the lives and struggles of Tibetan nomads whose life is on the cusp of irreversible change. The grasslands of the Tibetan plateau are home to the source of Asia’s major rivers. Nearly half of humanity depends on this water for survival. Tibetan nomads, known as “Drokpa” have roamed on this land for thousands of years. In recent decades, these once lush grasslands are rapidly turning into deserts. 


Yu Qiong | China 2012 | 72 Min. I OmeU

A coming of age movie about three Tibetans who face challenges that could define their lives. The struggle to enter the modern world while holding onto tradition is palpable, as a young woman waivers between teaching and a career in Tibetan medicine. Her two childhood friends, a novice monk and a painter, also grapple with which direction their lives will take in this rare and intimate portrait of the daily lives of a new generation of Tibetans.


Chang-yong Moon, Jin Jeon | India, South Korea 2016 | 95 Min. | OmeU

Padma Angdu’s world turns upside down when the monastery where he belonged expels him. Although he is recognized as a ‘Living Buddha’ in Ladakh, the only thing that holds him together is the unfaltering love of his teacher. High expectations from his community leads the young Rinpoche into rebellion as he enters into adolescence. After having waited years in vain for his disciples from Tibet, the soon-to-be teenage Rinpoche and his aging teacher embark on an epic journey towards Tibet, in search of an answer. The coming of age and a heart-warming tale of a young Rinpoche’s reincarnation and journey home.


Nicolas Pradal, Pierre Selvini | France 2016 | 105 Min. | OmeU

Little Derreck, a native American of the Wayana tribe on the river Maroni in French Guyana, invites us into his world. We follow his dreams and reality in a context of cultural, social and identity crisis, where generations live side by side without understanding each other. “Anuktatop”, meaning metamorphosis in Wayana, displays a universe where times mingle between memories of the elders and future perspectives of the younger in this remote territory in the French Amazonian forest.


Benjamin Colaux, Christopher Yates | Bolivia, Belgium 2015 | 75 Min. | OmeU

Every day for nearly five centuries, thousands of men enter the bowels of Cerro Rico, the “Rich Mountain” in Potosi, Bolivia, in search of silver. Amerindian and African slaves use to call it the «man-eater», and millions have died in its dark confinement during the Spanish colonial era. The horrific conditions at the mine have forced the workers to create a new mythology, a protection against the damnation they’ve brought upon themselves: digging up the earth represents a violation of Pachamama, the Mother-Earth.


Juan Alejandro Ramírez | Peru 2013 | 23 Min. | OmeU

“I hope they never take me out of here.” A woman fights a losing battle: one can’t be poor and still want to stay among the familiar, the everyday… where she was born and raised, only to watch with a mixture of confusion and rage her surroundings become deserted, bleak places, that just rear children that disperse to faraway, ugly cities.

Martha-Cecilia Dietrich | Peru, Great Britain 2015 | 34 Min. | OmeU

Eudosia is still searching for her husband’s remains in the highlands of Ayacucho. Lucero has been in prison for 25 years now for the crime of terrorism against the Peruvian state and since 2009 the commandos of the counterinsurgency unit Chavin de Huantarrecreate and commemorate their heroic military actions to save a nation from the threat of terrorism. Twelve years after the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its final report about the atrocities committed during the internal armed conflict (1980-2000), memories of this period seem more contested than ever.


Rodrigo Otero Heraud | Peru 2017 | 87 Min. | OmeU

The Eyes of the Journey is a poetic film that expresses the feelings of Andean culture towards Mother Earth, and the search for a deeper understanding of nature as a living being, as an eternal companion for humankind. The main character is an Andean shaman, who appears, walks and disappears in diverse geographies and Andean communities, as a wandering spirit who wants to take a last look at the sacred mountains, and converse with the spirits of water, rock and men, to get a better idea of what is the main disease our world suffers from in the present.


Georgi Lazarevski | Chile, France  2016 | 100 Min. | OmeU

In Patagonia, in the heart of the Chilean province of the Magellan Strait, a searcher for gold, a truck driver, and a young security guard cross paths with tourists searching for the end of the world. Between the debris of history, grandiose landscapes, and shopping malls, they reveal what does not appear in tour operators advertising leaflets: a deeply engrained violence in this land, and which becomes plain as day when a strike paralyzes the region.


Sarah Gronert | New Zealand 2015 | 93 Min. | OmeU

For 150 years, longstanding grievances over extreme colonisation tactics such as illegal land confiscation and scorched earth policies had defined the relationship between Tuhoe and a succession of New Zealand governments. Then in 2014, history was made: Te Urewera, Tuhoe’s ancestral homelands, were returned, the New Zealand government gave an official apology, and the Tuhoe people built the first ever “Living Building” in Aotearoa. The creation of the building immerses us in a culture of people closely entwined with the land, and in a form of architecture distinguished by the integrity of its relationship with the environment.


Marcia Machado | Australia 2013 | 66 Min. | OmeU

The Quandamooka People had already inhabited their homeland of Minjerribah and Moorgumpin for 21,000 years when Captain James Cook first sailed the waters of Quandamooka Bay sighting these islands in 1770. Cook then claimed the eastern coast of the land as terra nullius (land that belongs to no-one), which later became known as Australia. Since colonisation, the controversy of terra nullius has been the main conflict between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.


Martin Zinggl | Austria 2011 | 29 Min. | OmeU

The film takes us on an extraordinary journey into the South Pacific and offers a glimpse of life on the remote island of Niulakita (Tuvalu). Niulakita is the smallest, most isolated inhabited island in the world with only 47 Tuvaluans living on 0,4 square kilometers. The director spent several months on this island during his  anthropological fieldwork. Toku Fenuaenables us to participate in the daily routines of three islanders, who share their dreams and concerns.

Daniela Vávrová | Slowenia 2008 | 25 Min. | OmeU

Enet Yapai was six years old when Vávrová met her for the first time in 2005 in Ambonwari village, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Between November 2007 and April 2008 she followed Enet and her mother Alexia on their way to process sago, catch fish, or collect grass for baskets and mats. The film is an experiment of subtle, unanticipated interactions between Enet Yapai, a video camera, and an ethnographer.


Annick Ghijzelings | Tahiti, Blegium 2018 | 113 Min. | OmeU

Tahiti, French Polynesia. A district called Flamboyant lies between the runway of the international airport and a small mound of earth. After thirty years of atomic bomb testing by the French in Polynesia, the threads of neo-colonial strings have a different face today. By confronting the Ma’ohi spirit with its history of displacement, nuclear testing and a fractured existence, the film shows the vital impetus of a people trying not to forget themselves or their homeland and accompanies them on a quiet path in the pursuit of independence and self-determination.


Morten Vest | Nigeria, Denmark 2018 | 56 Min. | OmeU

The film follows a young couple who, a hundred years ago, left the Danish countryside to what is today Northern Nigeria to be the first missionaries in the area. Their mission is to ”build a bulwark against Islam”. They are well aware they will not come far by simply preaching the Bible. Having studied tropical medicine, they offer their medical practice solely as a package together with their religion. On the basis of a massive film archive shot by the missionaries themselves, the film displays the price the redeemed had to pay for the Christian lifestyle. The Redeemed is a complex story about good intentions, adventurousness and arrogance, then as today.


Eva Knopf | Germany  2013 | 50 Min. | OmeU

„Extras are the night of the cinema. While it strives to be an art that makes stars shine.“ The essayistic documentary tells the story of an African man named Mohamed Husen. He lived in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and worked as an extra in the movie business and was Zarah Leander’s chauffeur, Hans Albers’ servant and Heinz Rühmann’s liftboy. He was, however, not only an extra in the movie industry. The ’extra’ is also a metaphor for his role in ’big history’: His story isn’t told. This is a film about the reconstruction of Mohamed Husen’s life  – including the holes that the archive leaves open – and it is a film about how the roles society offers us effect our lives.


Christine Moderbacher | Nigeria, Austria 2018 | 71 Min. | OmeU

The question of foreign aid polarises – an experience filmmaker Christine Moderbacher makes when she, her father and his friends accompany their parish minister to his home village in Biafra, Nigeria, to help with the construction of a school. As ongoing independence efforts cause a hostile environment, they are rarely allowed to leave the premises. Caught in the role of „the helper“, Moderbacher feels increasingly uncomfortable, something her father cannot relate to. A film full of humanity and interpersonal relationships which questions the concept of foreign aid and also allows for a  little grin over dusty neo-colonial ways of thinking.


Alexander Hick | Colombia 2018 | 91 Min. | OmeU

Alexander Hick‘s documentary starts with a poetic approach to the Arhuacos, the guardians of the remote Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. On a journey with two young Arhuacos across Columbia’s highest mountain chain, the breathtaking beauty of this landscape reveals itself and on top of that, its cosmology. However, the present comes slowly to the fore: a highly political world shaped by guerilla war, military control and the development of tourism on the one hand and by solidarity as well as late justice on the other.


Anne-Laure Porée, Guillaume Suon | Cambodia, 2013 | 65 Min. | OmeU

The Last Refuge is a story of resistance and freedom. This documentary explores the deep relation of the Bunong (people living in a far eastern province of Cambodia, in the Highlands) to their environment and to the nature in an economic context that threatens their identity. A few kilometres from the Vietnamese border, The Bunong people are facing the setting up of economic concessions, supposed to bring development to this remote area. They lose their fields, their forest, which provides them a lot of resources and where they bury their ancestors. They lose everything because the bulldozers of several companies clear the land in order to grow rubber trees. Pou Chap and his wife have their own way to resist. They wish the development but they don´t want their identity to be erased. They try to maintain their way of life and their traditions. They explore ways of being themselves in a different world.


Christopher Walker | Ecuador, USA 2018 | 90 Min. | OmeU

Until the 1950s, the Waorani were able to successfully defended their area of settlement – today’s Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon – with the aid of spears. Then Christian missionaries entered the thick rain forest and paved the way for an oil company. Nowadays many of the tribes are estranged as some want to benefit from the short-term money the company is offering while others fight to preserve their land, culture and independence under all circumstances.


Caroline Parietti, Cyprien Ponson | Malaysia, France 2017 | 85 Min. | OmeU

Far away, in the heart of the old-growth forests of Borneo, exists a world where the trees and the rivers are not resources to be used, but sources in and of themselves. In the Malaysian state of Sarawak, the Penan, a nomadic people gradually forced to settle by the “force of things”, are dispersed in large territories, which have been decimated by the deadly trade in wood and palm-oil. In Sarawak, “the ones from upstream” are the first affected by deforestation. The Penan, once a nomadic people, are caught in the eye of that storm: how to go on living when the landscape which brought meaning to existence disappears? A film led by the songs of those who refuse to give in, tells of the intimate interweaving of a sweet and secret way of life with the fight which rages in the shadows of the big trees: that of those few who refuse to resign themselves and give in to the demons of capitalism, who believe that life is to be spent together, heart to heart, with the forest as both a space of life and of the future.


Simone Mestroni | India, Italy 2018 | 61 Min. | OmeU

In Kashmir, the embattled border region between Pakistan, China and India, ongoing brutal riots claim hundreds of victims each year. Taking place in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, “After Prayers” tells about the people’s everyday life of which both violence and the call to prayer of the muezzin are a part of. It is precisely after Friday prayers when political tensions frequently occur. With his film debut Simone Mestroni created a remarkable snapshot of a long-lasting conflict.


Cláudia Varejão | Japan, Portugal 2016 | 113 Min. | OmeU

For these women, sea-life begins during cherry blossom time. Each on their own, yet bound together through sisterly, generation-spanning solidarity, they set sail on a small cutter. Without air tanks or other aids, they dive to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, hunting seafood. Each movement an artifice, that combines perfection and aesthetics of this 2000-year-old tradition. This film offers intimate insights into practices that push their bodies to the limits of their capacities – under water and on land, securing the family income: self-determination and individuality in Japanese.


Mattijs van de Port | Brazil, Netherlands 2018 | 73 Min. | OmeU

On his journey through the rainforests and cities of Brazil, Mattijs van de Port looks out for nets, meshes and grids. Whether in the literal or metaphorical sense: these “knots and holes” are of universal significance, appearing everywhere and in all situations. To underscore his ideas, Van der Port does not hesitate to include his homosexuality as well as personal accounts. A successful example for the cinematic implementation of social science theory.


Run Bhattarai, Dorottya Zurbó | Bhutan, Hungary 2017 | 74 Min. | OmeU

In a remote village in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, Gyembo (16) and his sister Tashi (15) aimlessly roam around? while their father meticulously polishes the ancient relics inside the altar of their private monastery. This family has been taking care of the temple from one generation to the next for thousands of years. Unlike their father whose life revolves around the monastery, Gyembo and Tashi have grown up with desires that go beyond the confines of this sacred place. While Gyembo wants to become a football player he is also the only confidante for Tashi who identifies herself as a transgender. Following tradition, the father wants Gyembo to carry on the family heritage. This film explores the irony of two generations with contrasting dreams living alongside each other.


Martin Lintner, Sophie Wagner | Austria 2018 | 85 Min. | OmeU

After years of uncertainty and closed doors, plans for reopening the former Museum of Ethnology finally turn into reality. Located in the Hofburg, the new World Museum Vienna creates a space for new stories about its unique collections. For three years, the film accompanies the processes behind the scenes and allows us to get to know the people, who in many small steps pursue a common goal: to rethink the museum as a meeting place and to present a complex heritage in a contemporary way.