Closing night at the Mead

From: Ariella Ben-Dov (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Nov 15 2009 - 09:03:13 PST

33rd Annual Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
Our complete lineup can be found at .
The Mead presents 7 more films TODAY. Do not miss your chance to see these
outstanding films and multi media performances.
HAIR INDIA 8 pm Filmmaker in person
In order to pay for the wedding of Vishnu to the Goddess Padmavathi, the
gods' treasurer granted a long-term loan to be paid off by future
generations. Still today, Hindu believers offer money and jewels to service
the centuries-old debt. The very poor, we are told, sacrifice their only
possession--their hair. At an impartial remove, Brunetti and Leopardi follow
the course of this hair as it is sheared in an ancient, sacred ritual, sold
at auction to the highest bidder, and ends up strutting down the red carpets
on top of the world's most famous heads. Featuring Sangieta, the editor of
Hello! magazine in Mumbai; Mayoor, a hair wholesaler in Bangalore; Thomas,
an Italian who repackages the hair into extensions; and Hemlata and Gita, a
mother and daughter who trek to Simhachalan Temple to make their offering,
the documentary observes these ordinary people as they negotiate life's
pressures and problems. One part of India is sacrificing their "crowning
glory" so another part can look good. By thoughtfully interweaving these
various narratives, the filmmakers leave us wondering, in the end, which
part is really better off.
MINERALS immediately following the screening of HAIR INDIA. Gain admission
by showing your ticket stub.
Herskovits At the Heart of Blackness 2pm Filmmaker in Attendance with Jerry
Gershenhorn, author of Melville J. Herskovits and the Racial Politics of
Knowledge. Who has the authority to tell another culture's history? Melville
J. Herskovits, a second-generation Jewish-American, redefined the way the
world understands African-American history. At a time when eugenics
dominated the study of race, Herskovits examined the roots of African
American culture in Africa, hoping the uncovering of cultural links would
improve the black American self-image. Combining his field films made in
Nigeria, Dahomey, Mali, and elsewhere with key moments in anthropological
and civil rights history, as well as interviews with current-day scholars,
Herskovits demonstrates the nuances of identity politics involved in
anthropological study. Who has access to the archives? Who gets their
research funded? Who is objective and who is self-interested? When
Herskovits, founder of the white-dominated African Studies Association,
clashes with prominent black intellectual elites, including W.E.B. Du Bois
and sociologist E. FranklinFrazier, the conflict calls into question all we
know about each other.
The Philosopher Kings 3:30 pm
Meet seven men and one woman responsible for keeping the halls of America's
universities spic and span. To us, they are custodians. To filmmaker Patrick
Shen, they are "philosopher kings." On the job, sweeping between rows of
auditorium chairs, dusting dioramas, answering to the "toilet gods," these
ordinary people share their hardships and heartaches, their joys and
triumphs, reminding us that everyone's life offers the opportunity to
display heroism and accumulate wisdom.
Voices From El Sayed 4 pm Generations of intra-marriage among Bedouins in
the Negev desert has created the largest deaf community in the world. Wary
of outsiders and neglected by the Israeli government, which still has not
brought electricity to this 200-year-old village, the people of El-Sayed
have developed their own unique sign language. When two-year-old Muhammed
gets surgery for a cochlear implant, the community waits to see if it will
work as they simultaneously grapple with the threat its success would pose
to their language and culture.
DJ Spooky and the Science of Terra Nova 4 pm Join us for a
behind-the-scenes peek of the latest multimedia creation by Paul D. Miller,
aka DJ Spooky, whose Rebirth of a Nation redefined D.W. Griffith's racist
1915 film about the American Civil War. With Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctic,
he turns his attention to global climate change, specifically its effects on
the world's only uninhabited landmass, Antarctica. Using sounds recorded
during a visit to the frozen continent and images culled from AMNH archives,
DJ Spooky demonstrates how he created Terra Nova, discussing his project
with Heidi Cullen, director of communications and senior research scientist
at Climate Central, a nonprofit foundation created to provide science-based
assessments of climate change and options for addressing it. Andrew C.
Revkin, an environmental reporter for The New York Times, whose Dot Earth
blog examines efforts to balance human affairs with the planet's limits,
will moderate the event.
The Last Days of Shishmaref. 6 pm. Filmmaker in Attendance
As the world debates the causes and effects of global climate change, the
Arctic glaciers melt, eroding the coast of a 4,000 year old community
situated in Shishmaref on Sarichef Island off the coast of Alaska's Seward
Penninsula. Long reliant on the bounty of the shores, this quietly
beautiful film captures the story of some of the first climate-change
refugees who must relocate to the mainland and face an uncertain future.
Blind Loves. 6 pm.
Sitting around the parlor one afternoon in their home in Levoča, Slovakia,
Peter and Iveta imagine an underwater world, him noodling on the piano, her
knitting vigorously. Director Juraj Lehotský obliges the married couple's
fantasies, rendering them in a fanciful vignette. But neither Peter nor
Iveta can see it. They are both blind. Combining moody, low-light
cinematography, an artist's eye for composition, and a sharp ear for
quotidian sounds, Blind Loves depicts the day-to-day world of the blind,
rich in other sensory experiences.
November 12-15, 2009
This years festival features 33 films from around the world. While each
film is engaging, illuminating, moving, and unique, we want to draw
attention to some collective Mead Staff favorites:
Please enter through the 77th Street entrance between Central Park West and
Columbus Avenues for all Festival screenings 33rd Annual Margaret Mead Film
& Video Festival November through November 15.

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