Keep the Dance Alive

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When Visitors Come
A film about the relationship between anthropologist Rina Sherman and an Omuhimba family with whom she lived for seven years, filming and photographing aspects of their everyday and ritual lives. Halfway through her tenure in the field, Sherman presented a multi-media exhibition, entitled The Ovahimba Years: Work in Progress in…
Shake Your Brains
Shake Your Brains is a film about alcohol abuse in the Kunene North Region of Namibia. It was made to alert the youth of the detrimental effects of alcohol abuse. The film provides an overview of alcohol abuse amongst the Ovahimba and Ovadhimba communities of Kaokoland. A number of members…
Kurtal Snake Spirit
Kurtal - Snake Spirit tells the story of Spider, a sprightly 80 year old Aboriginal elder who travels from Fitzroy Crossing into the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia to visit a jila - a sacred waterhole. Spider is one of the main custodians responsible for the practices that take…
One Sky
One Sky documents the combination of the best contemporary Western dance performance and music with the traditional culture of Indonesia. It explores a successful example of artistic fusion where Eastern culture meets Western movement. As we follow the Chrissie Parrott Dance Company's performances in Surabaya we discover some of the…
Seasons of Migration
Seasons of Migration (56 min) is a documentary about Sophilene Cheam Shapiro's four part classical Cambodian dance about the stages of culture shock. It blends the dance with commentary about the music and choreography, and personal stories of emigration and culture shock from Cambodian-American residents of Long Beach, California (the…
To Serve the Gods
To Serve the Gods is about the beliefs, rituals and performances of a week-long ceremony given by a Haitian family in honor of its ancestral spirits. We are told at the outset of the film that this sevis loua only occurs every twenty to thirty years. This particular service takes…
Medium is the Masseuse: A Balinese Massage
Unlike many spirit mediums, Jero Tapakan practices as a masseuse once every three days, when possession is not auspicious. This film focuses on Jero's treatment of Ida Bagus, a member of the nobility from a neighboring town. Jero has been treating her client for sterility and seizures. She begins work…
The Drums of Winter (Uksuum Cauyai)
This feature-length documentary explores the traditional dance, music and spiritual world of the Yupik Eskimo people of Emmonak, a remote village at the mouth of the Yukon River on the Bering Sea coast. The Drums of Winter gives an intimate look at a way of life of which most of…
Fambul Tok
Seven years after the last bullet was fired, a decade of brutal fighting in Sierra Leone finds resolution as people come together to talk around traditional village bonfires. Some had perpetrated terrible crimes against friends or family. Some had faced horrible losses: loved ones murdered, limbs severed. But as they…
John Bishop Short Films
DOCUMENTARY RED TOP SNUFF (shot 1975, edited 1999) (8:43) (co-produced with Barbara Ayres; Noah Bishop editor) Ben Pearson's family has been milling on the Parker River in Massachusetts since colonial times and began grinding snuff when the industrial revolution brought textile mills to the Merrimack Valley. The Byfield Snuff Company…
An African Brass Band - Traditional Music of Cote d'Ivoire
At the beginning of the 20th century in Jacqueville, near Abidjan in the Cote d'Ivoire, traditional music was forbidden by the missionaries. But the inhabitants' enjoyment of their local festivals proved stronger, and the little town developed its own brass band. This is the story of that brass band, a…
The Feast in Dream Village
The eastern Indonesian island of Sumba is the last island in the Malay archipelago where the majority of the people still follow their ancestral religion, called marapu. This film, shot in 1986, focuses on a challenge to the authority of the spirits and ancestors in a village ritual to restore…