Past events
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In collaboration with the German International Ethnographic Film Festival, the Humboldt Forum will be screening seven films shot in Mali, Cameroon, India, Brazil, USA and Papua New Guinea.
The uniting factor common to all these ethnographic films is the collaborative creative process of the people both behind and in front of the camera. In an ethnofilm , the strict demarcation between filmmaker and actor is torn down. In these cooperative film projects, the focus is on transparent decision-making structures and a common goal. The complexity of the relationships between filmmakers and the people being filmed will be discussed in conversations with the participants following each of the five screenings. The film day will be hosted by Dorothee Wenner.

All films will be screened in their original language (Bambara, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Tok Pisin) with English subtitles.


The Slices of Life film day is a collaboration between the Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss and the German International Ethnographic Film Festival (GIEFF).






11:10 – 12:50

A Kali Temple Inside Out

83 min, 2018, India
Hindi with english subtitles
a film by Dipesh Kharel and Frode Storaas based on the anthropological research of Kathinka Frøystad.

Religious boundaries are not necessarily as sharp and antagonistic as the news media lead us to believe. This film shows the everyday life inside and around a Kali temple in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple building houses a Kali shrine and a smaller Hanuman shrine, and visitors to the site present offerings in both. Through a closer presentation of a priest and three devotees, the film shows why this temple is so important to them. Yet they also occasionally visit holy places of other religious traditions, whether to learn or seek additional divine support. The film is thus a silent critique against the obsession with religious conflict in contemporary debates. God is one, the religions are made by humans, as the priest concludes in the film.


Inside and Outside. Perspectives in the making of the film A Kali Temple Inside Out

13:00 – 14:45

Family Song

75 min, 2020, Brazil
Brazilian Portuguise with english subtitles

a film by Paula Bessa Braz and Mihai Andrei Leaha

A family decides to open a classical music school in their own house. The young six Cruz brothers start to teach various musical instruments to the children in their neighborhood. Little by little the house becomes a musical meeting place in one of Fortaleza’s most dangerous neighborhoods. But in order to live their dream of becoming professional musicians the family need to look for new horizons. How far will music take them?

Filming (in) times of crisis: reflecting upon visual politics and collaboration against controlling images in Brazil

16:00 – 17:30

New York, Just Another City

18,5 min, 2019, USA, Guarani Mbya
with  Portuguese, Spanish or English subtiteles

a film by André Lopes and Joana Brandão.

A young leader and audiovisual director, Patrícia Ferreira has been recognized for the documentaries she has been making with her people, the Guarani Mbya. She was called to debate her work at one of the world’s largest ethnographic film festivals, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In that place, Patricia comes across some exhibitions, debates and attitudes that make her think about the “juruá” people’s world, contrasting it with the Guarani’s modes of existence.

Ãjãí: the Headball Game of the Myky and Manoki

48 min, 2019, Brazil
Brazilian Portuguese and Myky with Brazilian Portuguese and englisch subtitles

a film by André Lopes and Typju Myky

Ãjãí is a fun game where only the players’ heads can touch the ball. This practice, shared by a few indigenous people in the world, is present among the Myky and Manoki populations of Mato Grosso state, Brazil, who speak a language of an isolated linguistic family. Youngsters of the Myky people decide to film and edit their game for the first time, to publicize it outside the villages. But to organize this great party, its chiefs will find some challenges ahead.


Collaborative Films in Indigenous Terms I

18:00 – 19:30

Everyday Survival

39 min, 2020, Cameroon
Musgum and Fulfulde with English subtitles

a film by Addoul Aziz Wadazoua

Due to ecological disturbances, the scarcity of natural resources, especially fish, is increasingly disrupting the rhythm of life of local fishermen Musgum in the flood plain to the point where Moumin and his family (47 individuals) are integrating new activities to survive on a daily basis according to the seasons and fishing.  These activities considered temporary, the management of the gain obtained from the fish during the fishing season changes the socio-economic life of Moumin’s family. Between these different survival activities, far from giving up their status as fishermen, Moumin’s family considers these secondary activities as a strategy for dealing with the environmental crises of the plain.


26 min, 2020, Mali
French and Bambara with english subtitles

a film by Sidylamine Bagayoko

In Mali, in the localities of San and Bla, and in particular in the belt of Dâdougou, kɔtɛ was widely practiced and integrated into a system of initiatory societies like the NYA and the DO. In most of the villages of Dâdugu, the ceremony of kɔtɛ takes place either following the death of a head of the village, or every seven years. There are several activities organized around the core secret initiation ceremony during two days of festivities. Each stage of initiation is represented by a fight. It brings two actors from two sides with opposite functions face to face. The monyontigi are bearers of long burning logs. They try to touch the body of the actors representing the opposite camp, who protect themselves with the branches of thorns.


The Viscam project

20:00 – 21:45

A Slice of Life

42 min, 2022, Papua New Guinea
Tok Pisin with english subtitles

a film by Gina Knapp, Verena Thomas and Jackie Kauli

A Slice of Life – Opena Gosalo is the pilot film of a telenovela from Papua New Guinea by the same name. It plays in Lopatena, a community of subsistence farmers and warriors in the Eastern Highlands. A Slice of Life combines fiction/drama with ethnographic footage of twenty-five years and is based on true stories. The script has been developed on site by the filmmakers/anthropologist and the community members, who also became the actors of the film.

Collaborative Films in Indigenous Terms II

Slices of Life. Ethnofilm: Collaborations and Perspectives 2022

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