Screening Room: Fall Calendar

We are really excited to announce the upcoming schedule for the Screening Room series. For a period of two weeks each month, we will make available online the following documentary/ethnographic projects, accompanied by interviews with filmmakers, classroom resources, and other related material.

Trees Tropiques

Directed by Alex Fattal

August 20 – September 10


Set in the mouth of the Amazon basin, this family portrait gets tricky when the ethics of deforestation and the documentary encounter intersect. This creative documentary subtly and provocatively asks, "Who has the right to cut?"—trees and footage. 

Voices of El Alto

Directed by Benjamin Oroza

September 22 – October 6


Bolivia, El Alto. In a city over four thousand meters above sea level, a story tent is set up in a marketplace to collect stories from random by-passers without any thematic limitations imposed by the filmmakers. Thus, something unexpected happened: the tent became an intimate confession room and a magic stage where stories, songs, and poems of love and anger became a story within a story, of a rebellious city, Voices of El Alto.

Owners of the Water

Directed by Laura R. Graham, David Hernández Palmar, Caimi Waiásse

October 20 – November 3


Owners of the Water is the result of a unique collaboration between an anthropologist from the United States, a Wayuu photographer from Venezuela, and a Xavante filmmaker from Brazil. The film explores an indigenous campaign to protect a river from the effects of unregulated soy cultivation in the Amazon. It centers on a protest by the Xavante in the central Brazilian cerrado, where activists made strategic use of cultural forms to bring attention to deforestation and excessive use of agrotoxins. Owners features a diversity of Xavante opinions and evidence that non-indigenous members of the local population both support and oppose indigenous demands. The film also depicts indigenous efforts to build networks among different native peoples and across nations.


Directed by Esy Casey

November 20 – December 3


Jeepney is a lyrical exploration of the Philippines through its most popular form of mass transportation: vividly decorated jeeps from the Second World War. Unlike mass transportation in many parts of the world, jeepneys are not a government service but are individually operated by their drivers, who manifest their identity, values, and dreams by painting and decorating their vehicles. Set amidst nationwide protests against oil price hikes, and cut to the rhythm of the streets, Jeepney provides an enticing vehicle through which the rippling effects of globalization can be felt.

COLLECTING IN THE COLLECTION: 46 Inuit artifacts in the Berlin Ethnological Museum from Franz Boas's 1883-1884 Baffin Island expedition

By Rebecca Sakoun and Florian Göttke

January 14 - February 18

Stemming from a research trip to Iqaluit and Pangnirtung (two Inuit communities in Arctic Canada) and later a work period in the Berlin Ethnological Museum in Dahlem, Rebecca Sakoun and Florian Göttke deal in their video-essay with the 46 artifacts haphazardly collected by Franz Boas during his first expedition. Their basic image material are photographs of the ethnographic objects: hunting and sledding gear, Inuit clothing, broken archeological items, but also many games and models commissioned by Boas, which attest to the imaginative and translation capacities of their makers. Sakoun and Göttke treat these photographs as material for re-working and collaging, which dislodges the objects from their museum context and constructs a visual narrative that explores issues of materiality, absence and presence, visibility and transparency. A voiceover-narration reflects on Boas's burgeoning anthropological impulses, his relationship with his Inuit informants, his approach to "objective" image-making and re-enactment, and the nature of the collected objects, as well as Sakoun and Göttke’s own roles as recorders, readers, and makers of images in a cross-cultural encounter.