DER Documentary

Unity Through Culture

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by Christian Suhr and Ton Otto
color, 59 min, 2011
In Tok Pisin, Tok Baluan, and English with English subtitles




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Soanin Kilangit is determined to unite the people and attract international tourism through the revival of culture on Baluan Island in the South Pacific. He organizes the largest cultural festival ever held on the island, but some traditional leaders argue that Baluan never had culture and that culture comes from the white man and is now destroying their old tradition. Others, however, take the festival as a welcome opportunity to revolt against '70 years of cultural oppression' by Christianity. A struggle to define the past, present and future of Baluan culture erupts to the sound of thundering log drum rhythms.

“…the various disputes that come forth during the film will provide an excellent teaching tool and springboard for myriad discussions associated with issues involving kastom, tradition, change, authenticity, performance, identity, cultural politics, exchange, and the impact of the West on traditional societies.” — Karen Stevenson, American Anthropologist, September 2012

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival, USA, 2014
Freiburger Film Forum, Germany, 2013
Kratovo Ethnographic Film Festival, Macedonia, 2013
European Association for Social Anthropologists Biennial Meeting EASA, Paris, 2012
Anthropology in the World, Royal Anthropological Inst/British Museum Centre for Anthropology, London, 2012
The Intangible Culture Film Prize, Royal Anthropological Institute Festival, 2011
The Richard Werbner Award for Visual Ethnography, Royal Anthropological Institute Festival, 2011
Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival, Taipei, 2011
Society for Visual Anthropology Festival, AAA Meeting, Montreal, 2011
Hawaii International Film Festival HIFF, Honolulu, 2011
The International Festival for Ethnological Film, Belgrade, 2011
VISCULT - Festival of Visual Culture, Finland, 2011
Days of Ethnographic Cinema, Moscow, 2011
The NAFA Festival, St Andrews, 2011
IUAES/AAS/ASAANZ Conference 2011 Perth, 2011
Royal Anthropological Institute Festival for Ethnographic Film, London, 2011
Broadcast, Taiwan Indigenous TV, Taipei, 2011

Related Resources
Official website

View more photos on www.flickr.com

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