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Icarus Film
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Films & DVDs on Anthropology  Text Size Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size
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    A

  • Advertising Missionaries - Follows the mission of one theater company to bring the consumer revolution to the people of the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

  • Alabbá - An exploration of the fascinating history of Santería.

  • All Restrictions End - Reflections on Islam and clothing, Iranian cinema, Persian painting and more characterize this thought-provoking artistic documentary.

  • As Long as the Rivers Flow - A series of five films which document the epic struggle of Canada's Native People.

  • Awakening from Sorrow: Buenos Aires 1997 - Documents the power to transform pain into action and to lift the veil of repression that has gripped a generation of young people orphaned by Argentina's 'Dirty War.'

  • B

  • A Better Life - Returning to Todos Santos after 30 years, a look at the profound economic and social changes that have transformed this Guatemalan Mayan village.

  • Black Water - Industrial pollution in a small Brazilian fishing village.

  • A Boatload of Wild Irishmen - The life and work of legendary director Robert Flaherty ("Nanook of the North"), the "father of documentary."

  • Bombay: Our City - 4 million slum dwellers - half of Bombay's population - must battle daily just to survive.

  • Breasts - Twenty-two women, ages 6 to 84-years-old, discuss how breasts play a crucial role in the experiences of puberty, motherhood, sex, health, and aging. ** 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality **

  • Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan - The first film about the Kyrgyz tradition of bride kidnapping takes viewers inside families, to talk with kidnapped brides who have managed to escape as well as those who are making homes with their new husbands.

  • Bruly Bouabré's Alphabet - In the 1950's, Ivory Coast artist Bruly Bouabré created hundreds of pictograms based on one-syllable words in his language, Bété.

  • Bush Mechanics - This Aboriginal-produced TV series follows the exploits of the Bush Mechanics. Traveling through the Australian outback, they solve multiple car problems with inventive bush repair techniques to overcome various challenges.

  • C

  • Can't Do It In Europe - Some people travel to Bolivia to go down the dangerous silver mines, to see the medieval work conditions. Are they crawling through the contaminated tunnels to learn about a foreign culture, or to escape boredom?

  • Celso and Cora - A young couple and their two children living in a squatter settlement in the Philippines' capital, Manila.

  • Coincidence in Paradise - Delves into the mystery of our origins, seeking the latest discoveries that may answer the question - What exactly was it that first initiated our genesis, our species' actual birth?

  • Colonists for a Day - A fascinating account of Australia's colonization of Papua New Guinea.

  • Congo in Four Acts - A quartet of short films (on one dvd) that lay bare the reality of everyday life in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • The Cow Jumped Over the Moon - The story of Fulani cattle herders in West Africa using U.S. satellite imaging technology to find grazing and water for their herds during drought.

  • Cracks in the Mask - A Torres Strait Islander sets out on a voyage of discovery to the great museums of Europe where his cultural heritage now lies.

  • D

  • Depending On Heaven: The Desert - Examines the role of people in the desert ecosystem of Inner Mongolia.

  • Depending On Heaven: The Grasslands - Examines the effect of humans on the grasslands ecosystem of Inner Mongolia.

  • Die Before Blossom - The rising importance of Islamic values in an Indonesian public school is apparent in this portrait of modern schoolgirls Kiki and Dila. (new October, 2015)

  • Division of Hearts - Ordinary people from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh recount their tumultuous experiences after the 1947 British subdivision of colonial India.

  • Do Communists Have Better Sex? - In divided Germany, studies showed that East Germans enjoyed their sexual lives more than their West German counterparts. What could account for the difference?

  • The Dreamers of Arnhem Land - The two Aboriginal elders who set out to save their community from cultural extinction by combining traditional knowledge and contemporary scientific expertise.

  • Dreamings - Showing Aboriginal artists at work in their native environments, DREAMINGS explores the meaning and mystical significance behind these evocative works.

  • E

  • Everything Must Come to Light - This documentary focuses on the lives of three dynamic lesbians sangomas (traditional healers) living in Soweto, South Africa.

  • F

  • The Face of Evil - A history of attempts to categorize the physiognomy of evil. From the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch to physiognomics, phrenology, eugenics, and anthropometrics.

  • Fang - Mixes documentary and fiction techniques to recount an African art object's 100 year journey - a whole century of Western attitudes towards African culture packed into 8 minutes!

  • Fernando is Back - Documents the workings of Chile's Forensic Identification Unit in its quest to reclaim the identities of those 'disappeared' and killed during the Pinochet dictatorship.

  • Five Centuries Later - Examines the current status of Central American aboriginal civilizations, five hundred years after they were "conquered" by European invaders.

  • For the Best and for the Onion! - A verite documentary that captures the rhythms of agricultural life in Niger, and how the vagaries of market price and harvest can affect the most intimate personal decisions.

  • For Those Who Sail to Heaven - Captures the Sufi rites of the annual Opet Festival in Egypt.

  • Forever - A poignant tour of the importance of art in the lives of visitors to the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the final resting place for legendary writers, composers, painters and other artists from around the world.

  • From Opium to Chrysanthemums - The Hmong, in Southeast Asia and America - struggling to preserve essential aspects of their culture, while coping with the enormous changes forced upon them.

  • G

  • Glenafooka - Enchanting examination of the persistence in rural Ireland today of ancient beliefs in otherworld spirits, including fairies, ghosts, banshees and other supernatural forces.

  • Goldwidows: Women in Lesotho - "Goldwidows" are the women whose husbands work in South Africa's mines - often without returning home for five years at a time.

  • Gringo Trails - A global survey of the impacts on cultures, economies, and the environment of the most powerful globalizing force of our time: tourism.

  • H

  • Hamou-Beya, Sand Fishers - For generations the Bozo people of Mali lived along the banks of the Niger river, fishing for their livelihood. But now...

  • Heart of the Country - The story of an extraordinary principal of a rural school in Hokkaido, Japan, who is driven by his passion for educating the heart as well as the mind.

  • How Happy Can You Be? - What is happiness? And how do we get more of it? Visiting leading figures in positive psychology and observing clinical experiments, this is a light-hearted but serious investigation.

  • The Human Zoo Still
  • The Human Zoo - The story of 25 people from four Chilean indigenous groups who in the 19th centry were exhibited as attractions across Europe.

  • I

  • Inheritance - After a gold mine floods a Hungarian river with tons of cyanide, fisherman Balazs Meszaro stands alone against a multinational corporation, exposing environmental and human consequences of globalization.

  • The Inheritors - At early age children begin to work in the Mexican countryside. This is a portrait of theirs lives and their daily struggle for survival.

  • Inside Out - Transsexuals in Iran. Intimate conversations with doctors, religious authorities, and transsexuals about the mind/body conflict, Islamic interpretations, and the impact of sex-change treatments on their lives.

  • J

  • J'y Crois - I Believe In It - A beautifully composed political documentary investigating the decentralization process in Mali.

  • Jaguar - In Jean Rouch's collaborative ethnofiction, three Nigerien men journey to Accra for work.

  • Jean Rouch: Six Films - A set of six films made in West Africa by legendary ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch.

  • K

  • Keeping It Real - A philosophical but often comic investigation of the desire for truly "authentic" experiences, and how the new "experience economy" packages and sells them.

  • Knorosov - The story of the decipherment of the ancient Mayan writing system, and that of the little-known Russian linguist who, almost 500 years after the codice's discovery, figured them out.

  • The Koran: Back to the Origins of the Book - Explores the origins and history of the Koran - where Muslim tradition and scientific research converge.

  • L

  • Le Joli Mai - Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's legendary portrait of Paris and Parisians at the close of the Algerian war.

  • The Life and Times of Sara Baartman - Kidnapped from South Africa in 1810 and "exhibited" around Great Britain, Sara Baartman was treated as a scientific curiosity.

  • The Lion Hunters - Jean Rouch's self-reflexive depiction of lion hunting among the Songhay people of Niger, and the social structure that underlies it.

  • Little By Little - Jean Rouch brings his Nigerien collaborators to France to perform a reverse ethnography of late-1960s Parisian life.

  • Living Memory - About Mali's ancient culture, and this culture's position in the country today. Exposes tensions in a society assailed by modernization, Islam and global tourism, yet confident that it will maintain its own distinctive character.

  • Long Story Short - Over 100 people at homeless shelters, food banks, and job training centers discuss their experiences of poverty. (new April, 2016)

  • Loss - An examination of German Jewish life and culture and the lasting intellectual, moral and spiritual void that loss has meant to their fatherland.

  • Lucanamarca - In the Peruvian Andes, in the town of Lucanamarca, old wounds are re-opened when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission arrives to investigate a massacre from 20 years ago.

  • M

  • Mabo - Life of an Island Man - Traces the story of the life of an extraordinary man, one whose struggle for land rights, and his remarkable life in general, had a profound effect on indigenous rights in Australia.

  • The Mad Masters - Jean Rouch's essential and controversial work is a classic of ethnographic cinema.

  • Mammy Water - A gentle portrait by Jean Rouch of the spiritual traditions of a fishing village in the Gulf of Guinea.

  • Masks - In the macho world of Cuban culture, Margot and Roxana stand out—they are two of the country's best-known drag queens. (new July, 2015)

  • A Mayan Trilogy: Life, Death & Migration - Now on one DVD, Olivia Carrescia's three films on the Mayan Indians of Guatemala preserve a record, and provide an acute observation on how the indigenous culture has been affected by, yet survived, that country's tumultuous history.

  • Mayan Voices: American Lives - Contrasts the experiences of Mayan families who came to Indiantown, Florida as refugees fleeing the violence in Guatemala in the early 1980s, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives.

  • Metal and Melancholy - Roving the city of Lima, Peru, Heddy Honigmann meets teachers, actors, professionals, civil servants and many others who have turned to taxi driving to earn enough to get by.

  • Middletown - This classic series, created by Emmy and Academy Award winner Peter Davis, explores both the continuity and the change embodied in the people and institutions of one Midwestern community: Muncie, Indiana.

  • Milk in the Land - How did milk become so popular, and iconic? An entertaining and innovative history and deconstruction of milk and American culture!

  • Moi, Un Noir - In this landmark documentary, Jean Rouch collaborates with his subjects to produce a complex portrait of Nigerien migrants in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.

  • N

  • North-South.com - In West Africa many young women, who dream of escaping a life of misery by marrying a rich, white foreigner, surf the Internet for marriage proposals.

  • O

  • Old Men - An intimate ethnographic portrait of the elderly men living on one street in Beijing, China.

  • 100 Children Waiting for a Train - Poetically tells the story of a group of Chilean children who discover a larger reality - and a different world - through the cinema.

  • 1428 - Du Haibin’s award-winning documentary of the earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan province in 2008 explores how victims, citizens and government respond to a national tragedy.

  • Open Sky - When an open-pit silver mine comes to an isolated, desert community in Argentina, corporate and government interests clash with those of the local population.

  • Ordinary People - The first ever independently produced current affairs series aired by the South African Broadcasting Corporation's TV1.

  • P

  • The Passion of María Elena - Following the hit-and-run death of her son, Maria Elena, a young woman from Mexico's Raramuri community, embarks upon an eye-opening journey from grief to unexpected spiritual resolution.

  • Philippines: The Price of Power - As a massive dam project threatened to submerge their lands, the Igorots, traditional Filipino farmers, played a role in the events that led to the "People Power" revolution.

  • The Prize of the Pole - Robert Peary's quest to plant an American flag at the North Pole came with enormous, and sometimes unacknowledged, costs. Now his great-grandson wants to set the record straight.

  • R

  • Rapayan - High in the Andes mountains of Peru, above a small village that scarcely seemed to notice, archaeologists have found the ruins of an indigenous settlement that predates the Incas.

  • Red Hat - Where Are You Going? - An examination of the socio-political role of the Mossi chiefs in the West African nation of Burkina Faso.

  • Red Persimmons - A visually elegant paean to the cultivation and harvesting of the sweet red fruit, and the disappearance of a traditional way of life in rural Japan.

  • Refugees in Our Backyard - Investigates the impact of civil strife on Central America, and the enormous obstacles its people face as they attempt to escape into the United States.

  • The Return of Sara Baartman - After years of unsettling negotiation with France, South Africa finally welcomes home the remains of Sara Baartman in an historic event of repatriation.

  • Rice and Peas - The experiences of a Trinidadian restaurant owner in Brooklyn.

  • S

  • Sacred Soil - The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation exhumes up to 1,000 bodies a year to identify them, and return the remains to their families.

  • Saints and Spirits - Explores the personal dimensions of Islam during three religious events in Morocco.

  • School of Babel - Welcome to a unique Parisian program for immigrant children from all over the world. (new July, 2015)

  • Silvestre Pantaleón - The story of an elderly man from the Nahuatl-speaking village of San Agustin Oapan, Mexico.

  • Since the Company Came - In the Solomon Islands extensive logging forces the Haporai people to confront social, cultural and ecological disintegration.

  • Sociology is a Martial Art - An introduction to the work of Influential sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, whose 40 books and countless articles represent a renovation and application of social science.

  • Still, The Children Are Here - A portrait of the Garo people of India, for whom cultivating rice is a way of life and worship, this film not only describes an indigenous culture, but the essential nature of humanity. Produced by Mira Nair.

  • Stolen Land - Illustrates the decades-long often violent resistance movement of the indigenous Nasa people of Colombia over rights to their native land.

  • Stories of Honor and Shame - Through a series of remarkable personal accounts, fifteen women reveal their roles in the patriarchal Islamic society of the Gaza Strip where men dictate most aspects of life.

  • The Sugar Curtain - An intimate portrait by Camila Guzmán Urzúa about growing up in Cuba during the "golden years" of the Cuban Revolution.

  • T

  • Tambogrande - Follows the efforts of a small Peruvian town over five years as they fight government efforts to sell the mineral rights under their homes to a multi-national mining company.

  • Taxi to Timbuktu - Men from Mali seek work in New York, Paris, and Tokyo.

  • 10th Parallel - A voyage deep into the Amazon to explore the implications of Brazil's policy on uncontacted indigenous tribes.

  • They Are We - Anthropologist's film reunites a family 200 years after they were torn apart by the transatlantic slave trade.

  • They Would All Be Queens - The stories of women from the Soviet Union who married Cuban men and moved to Cuba before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

  • Three Sisters - Three little sisters live alone in a small village in the high mountains of the Yunnan region. The little girls don’t go to school, spending their days working in the fields or wandering in the village. (new October, 2015)

  • 'Til Madness Do Us Part - The daily lives and isolation of a group of men locked on one floor of a Chinese city's psychiatric institution. (new October, 2015)

  • Timber Gang (aka Last Lumberjacks) - Yu Guangyi's stunning debut explores a grueling winter amongst loggers in Northeast China, as they work with traditional methods through one last, fateful expedition.

  • Todos Santos Cuchumatan: Report from a Guatemalan Village - This film provides an intimate look at everyday life in Todos Santos, a village in Guatemala's highlands, before the violence of the 1980s.

  • Todos Santos: The Survivors - Demonstrates how the political turmoil of the 1980s affected this once quiet Guatemalan village.

  • Trinkets and Beads - The oil company MAXUS and Huaroni Indians of the Amazon.

  • V

  • A Veiled Revolution - Considers the possible reasons for modern Egyptian women's turn back to tradition.

  • Voices From Gaza - The first full length documentary produced after the start of the Palestinian intifada.

  • W

  • War and Love in Kabul - Hossein's and Shaima's love is a story about honor, tribal laws, disgrace, fear, and hope for change in a war-ravaged Afghanistan.

  • Winds of Memory - Filmed over three years, WINDS OF MEMORY reveals Mayan life and culture in Guatemala today, five centuries after the "discovery" of America.

  • Winter Nomads - Modern-day shepards Pascal and Carole bring 800 sheep on a snow-covered odyssey.

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Last Updated February 3, 2017
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