Mead Fest and Independent / Avant-Garde Film

From: Ariella Ben-Dov (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Nov 10 2008 - 08:41:49 PST

Dear Frameworkers, the 32nd Annual Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
begins this Friday. We have some wonderful films coming your way and I
wanted to share a couple that are on the non-narrative, archival, and/or
avant-garde spectrum! Please see below and you can find our entire Festival
line-up at
Be well, Ariella Ben-Dov
Festival Director and Film Curator

IN THE LAND of the HEAD HUNTERS (Edward S. Curtis, 1914)
Fri, Nov 14, 7pm
This silent era film ound in a Chicago area dumpster in 1947, this
silent-era melodrama, has finally been restored with help of the UCLA Film
and TV Archive. Set in a time when the First Nation peoples had not yet
encountered Europeans, the film tells of Motana, the chief's son, who must
overcome many challenges in the spirit and physical world to woo and win the
lovely Naida, a young girl whose bewitching dancing has the power to save
her from the evil Sorcerer. This film screens with live musical
accompaniment by the Coast Orchestra, a Native American classical ensemble.

ALONE IN FOUR WALLS by Alexandra Westmeier (*do not miss this stunning
Sat, Nov 15: 8:15 pm, NY Premiere, Filmmaker and cinematographer in person
A teenager stands up in class and explains why his favorite color is black.
Wearing black, he says, makes it easier to escape into corners undetected
and to obscure the dirt on his clothes. This scene is just one of the many
in Westmeier's documentary about adolescent boys incarcerated at a Russian
reformatory that break the heart. Her patient camera captures them sitting
quietly in rows at class, learning to use a gasmask, making their beds,
washing the hallway floors, in a woodshop cutting wood. Intercut are
interviews in which the boys describe their home life and the offenses that
brought them to this place. Some speak of alcoholism, beatings, theft, and
grisly murders, recounted in seemingly indifferent tones. Other boys cry
remembering home, a kind but absent stepfather, a remiss grandmother who
forgets to write. Breathtakingly shot with a painter's eye for color and
composition, Westmeier's film allows these boys a freedom of expression like
they have never had nor probably will ever get again.

PEACE WITH SEALS by Miloslav Novák
Sat, Nov 15, 12:30 pm
U.S. Premiere, Filmmaker in person
Monk seal specialist Emanuele Coppola and director Miloslav Novák are on the
hunt for any trace of a real, live Mediterranean monk seal. Conversations
with marine biologists and philosophers as well as the beachgoers on the
Mediterranean shores who have supplanted the seals lead them to believe that
the only monk seals left are those preserved in Coppola's extensive
collection of archival footage. Presented as a wistful documentary fable,
the film might well stand as a warning sign for more ominous things to come.

Sat, Nov 15 4:30 pm
East Coast Premiere
Rithy Panh continues his masterful exploration of contemporary Cambodia and
the legacy of its recent past through the stories of young women forced into
prostitution to survive. Living in the wake of the Khmer Rouge and beset by
the juggernaut of global capitalism, these women eek out an existence in a
decaying apartment building in Phnom Penh. Away from men and the noise of
the street, Paper offers moments that range from expressions of quiet
despair to the sharing of intimacies and mutual comfort.
MARCH POINT (dir. Annie Silverstein in person) follows three Native American
teens as they fight for environmental rights.

Sat, Nov 15 4:30 pm, 3:00 pm
East Coast Premiere
A master of observational documentary, award-winning director Kim Longinotto
opens a window onto the lives of the boys at England's Mulberry Bush School.
Celebrating its 60th anniversary, this innovative boarding school provides
therapeutic care and instruction for children who have experienced early
life trauma, neglect, or other emotional problems. Forty students excluded
from traditional education find a last resort at Mulberry Bush, where they
are allowed three years to learn how to control their emotions and actions.
Harrowing and inspirational, Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go shows the difficult
road to recovery each of these children face. The teachers handle the
students' violent and alarming outbursts with unwavering patience, slowly
leading each child to uncover their own endearing natures.
ALONE IN FOUR WALLS (dir. Alexandra Westmeier in person) a stunningly shot
portrayal of Russian teenagers imprisoned at a reform school.

Sun, Nov 16, 4:00 pm
U.S. Premiere
Filmmaker and producer in person
From 1964 to 1973, the United States dropped a planeload of cluster bombs
(about 100 per sortie) onto Laos every eight minutes, day and night ‹ the
equivalent of more than half a ton of bombs for every man, woman, and child.
Many of these bombs still litter the Laotian landscape and remain live,
rendering the largely poor, rural population vulnerable to explosions 25
years after the CIA-funded secret war has ended. Filmmaker Kim Mordaunt and
producer Sylvia Wilczynski follow Australian Explosive Ordnance Disposal
(EOD) technician Laith Stevens as he trains young Laotians to become
certified bomb technicians themselves, learning to recognize and neutralize
the estimated 30 percent of unexploded ordinance (UXO) still lying in wait.
As these young technicians learn their new trade, we meet the villagers
haunted by the effects of this illegal war and encounter the new economy
that prizes UXO for its scrap metal value.

Sat, Nov 16, 4:00 pm
Filmmakers in person
Five American women serve as part of Team Lioness, fighting in some of the
bloodiest counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq War. Formally prohibited
from direct combat by the Ground Combat Exclusion Policy (instituted by the
Department of Defense in 1994), these women have never been seen on
television news or written about in the papers, yet they have risked their
lives to serve their country. Through intimate accounts, journal excerpts,
and battlefield footage, Lioness makes their story public for the first

The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival is the longest-running, premiere
showcase for international documentaries in the United States, encompassing
a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental
nonfiction. The Festival is distinguished by its outstanding selection of
titles, which tackle diverse and challenging subjects, representing a range
of issues and perspectives, and by the forums for discussion with filmmakers
and speakers.

By phone 212-769-5200
Through our web site http://www.amnh/org/mead

Tickets may be purchased during Museum hours at the Advance Group Sales desk
in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda (Central Park West at 79th Street
entrance), and at the Rose Center for Earth and Space (81st Street
entrance). No service charge.

November 14-16: During the festival, tickets may be purchased at the 77th
Street entrance only, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, one
hour prior to show. No service charge.

Ariella J. Ben-Dov
Director, Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
Manager, Public Programs

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, New York 10024

(212) 496-4217 Phone
(212) 769-5329 Fax
email suppressed

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.