April 2, 2008 The American Museum of Natural History will present the second annual Margaret Mead Film Festival of innovative, non-fiction work that is an eye on the outside world. The films will be shown at 7 p.m., on April 10-12 and 17-19, in the first floor conference room of the new Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus.
This year's festival, hosted by UVI's Communication Program within the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, will feature the screenings of 10 independent, cultural, documentary films. The film program is free and open to the public. UVI faculty members will be on hand to lead discussions and interpret the films. A limited number of seats will be filled on a first come, first served basis.
"The traveling festival is featured at museums, universities and colleges throughout the United States and abroad," said UVI Communication Professor Alex Randall. "UVI has arranged for all of the films in this year's series to be shown to the St. Thomas community."
Thursday, April 10
"The Birthday" — Sexuality and gender remain bound to tradition in modern Iran, and yet within this rigid Islamic society, this film follows the experiences of a young man who decides to become a woman. (Negin Kianfar and Daisy Mohr. 2006. 63 min.)
Friday, April 11
"Grito De Piedra" (Scream of the Stone) — Once the source of legendary wealth in colonial days, Potosí's now economically destitute silver mines have been opened as a tourist destination for visitors to Bolivia. The film follows a Gavino, a Potosí miner, and his son Pedro, a tour guide, to the mines, depicting their lives as miners and participants in a colonial enterprise that shapes life in South America. (Ton van Zantvoort. 2006. 59 min. Bolivia/The Netherlands.)
"Stranger Comes to Town" — This video re-purposes animations from the Department of Homeland Security and combines them with stories from the border, images from the online game "World of Warcraft" and journeys via Google Earth, to tell a tale of bodies moving through lands that are familiar and strange. Filmmaker Jacqueline Goss focuses on the questions and examinations used to sense the self and one's view of the world. (Jacqueline Goss. 2007. 28 min.)
Saturday, April 12
"Promised Paradise" — Jakarta-based puppeteer Agus Nur Amal travels to Bali to call to account the individuals responsible for the terrorist bombing of a Balinese nightclub in October 2002. As he does in his theatrical performances, Amal uses humor to explore the complexities of these acts of hate. The results are both revealing and sobering. (Leonard Retel Helmrich. 2006. 52 min. Indonesia/The Netherlands.)
"Trance and Dance in Bali" – Margaret Mead's classic 1936 film will also be shown.
Thursday, April 17
"The Thread of Karma" — In 1992, the Mead Festival featured "The Reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche," which followed the search and discovery of a 4-year-old reincarnated lama, Phara Khenchen Rinpoche. Sixteen years later, "The Thread of Karma" explores the director's intimate look at the life of a young lama as he aspires to live up to the reputation of his former incarnation. It also explores his relationships with the two people closest to him, his attendant and his spiritual master, both of whom were connected to him in his previous life. (Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. 2007. 52 min.)
Friday, April 18
"Waterfront" — This is a film about the politics of water. In Highland Park, Michigan, local activists dealing with economic justice and welfare engage in the debate of how water, a valuable and essential public resource, should be managed in the midst of an economic crisis that silences claims to human rights. The story is an upsetting indication of what may be in store for residents around the world facing their own water struggles. The story is much like the situation in the Virgin Islands with WAPA water bills. (Elizabeth Miller. 2007. 50 min.)
"Bathing Babies in Three Cultures" — Another Margaret Mead Classic
Saturday, April 19
"Gimmie Green" — "Gimme Green" is a look at the American obsession with lawns and the impact it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life. From subdivisions in Florida to sod farms in the arid Southwest, "Gimme Green" peers behind the curtain of the $40 billion industry that fuels our nation's most irrigated crop–the lawn. (Isaac Brown and Eric Flagg. 2006. 27 min.)
"Village of Dust, City of Water" — This film about water is a lyrical and chilling ciné poem about social exploitation over access to water in India, where rural water supplies are redistributed to serve booming cities and whole communities are displaced to create dams. (Sanjay Barnela. 2006. 28 min.)