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Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival

Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival Comes to Yale October 7-13
Anthropologist Karl Heider to Give Keynote Address

Noted anthropologist and ethnographer Karl Heider will open the 29th annual Margaret Mead Traveling Film & Video Festival on Saturday, October 7, with a keynote address at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, which is co-hosting the festival with Yale’s Social Science Libraries and Information Services (SSLIS). The Yale Department of Anthropology joins the Peabody and SSLIS as festival sponsors. Dr. Heider’s address, “The State of Visual Anthropology,” begins at 5:00 p.m., to be followed by a reception and, at 7 p.m., the screening of Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan.

The Mead Festival is the longest-running documentary film festival in the United States. It is named in honor of renowned ethnographer and anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978), whose work and writings are credited with contributing significantly to the understanding of human history. Showcasing the best of international documentary cinema, the festival seeks to promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema.

The festival is launched every autumn at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. Each year selected films travel to communities throughout the United States and abroad. This year’s traveling film offerings explore a wide range of topics including arranged marriages, illegal immigration, the loss of a sibling, and land mine victims in Afghanistan.

In addition to the core Mead traveling films, the Yale festival features additional screenings and presentations associated with Yale library collections and ongoing Yale research. Many of the screenings will include anthropological input in the form of introduction by or discussion with social scientists, filmmakers, and students.

Anthropologist Harold C. Conklin, professor emeritus at Yale and one of the world’s leading authorities on ethnoscience, will present and discuss the film Hanunoo. Dr. Lillian Guerra, associate professor in the Yale History Department, will discuss her research, which is associated with the Cuban collection grant from the Seaver Institute and entitled “Visions of Power, Nation and Revolution in Cuba, 1959-1999.”

An exhibit at the Sterling Memorial Library will feature library collections related to the additional Yale programs included in the festival. Coordinated and mounted by the Social Science Libraries and Information Services staff, the exhibit runs from September 15th through November 3rd 2006. The exhibit and all festival content ­ keynote address, screenings, talks and discussions ­ are free and open to the public. The complete schedule of screenings and associated programming follows:

5:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum
Opening Keynote Address, followed by reception
The State of Visual Anthropology”
Dr. Karl Heider, Distinguised Professor in Anthropology, University of South Carolina and author of Seeing Anthropology: Cultural Anthropology Through Film.

7:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum auditorium, third floor.
Mead Film Screening: Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, directed by Petr Lom (51 min., Kyrgyzstan).
In rural Kyrgystan, bride kidnapping is a common practice that continues despite its illegal status. This film offers unprecedented access to four women's stories, documenting their abductions in harrowing detail-from their tearful protests to their physical restraint, to the tense negotiations between the respective families. While some of the marriages conclude happily or peacefully, others do not, and this sensitively crafted film portrays complicated notions about the nature of love and marriage.

7:00 p.m.
Location: Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 102
Mead Film Screening: Awake Zion, directed by Monica Halm (60 min., Jamaica/Israel/U.S.)
Have you ever wondered why Jews and Rastafarians share the same Star of David and references to Zion? Through music, interviews, history, and performance, this film investigates the symbols, laws, culture, and themes shared by two communities that might appear to be on opposite ends of the spiritual spectrum.

5:00 p.m.
Location: Sterling Memorial Library, Lecture Hall
Talk illustrated by film, with Dr. Lillian Guerra, Assistant Professor of History at Yale
Cuba and the Cinematic Imagination in the Work of David Stone and Andrew St. George”
In this Yale addition to the festival, Dr. Guerra will compare the perspectives and presentation of Cuba's revolutionary reality through the cinematic works of Andrew St. George and David Stone, exploring how foreign photographers and Cuban subjects conspired, both consciously and unconsciously, to craft images of utopia and construct belief in utopia before and after the triumph of Cuba's revolutionary forces in 1959.

5:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum Auditorium, third floor.
Mead Film Screening: Hanunoo, produced by Harold C. Conklin (19 min., USA)
Discussion follows with Dr. Conklin, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale, and Dr. Karl Heider, Distinguished Professor in Anthropology, University of South Carolina.
Produced in 1957, this short film documents the everyday activities of the Hanunoo, a village of farming people in the mountains of Mindoro, Philippines.  The film includes still photography and indigenous music.

7:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum Auditorium, third floor.
Mead Film Screening: Land Mines: A Love Story, directed by Dennis O’Rourke (73 min., Afghanistan)
Part observational and part essay, this anti-war film is set in a country whose name has become synonymous with conflict. It chronicles the love story of Habiba and Shah, two land-mine victims living together in Kabul and struggling to make ends meet.

5:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum Auditorium, third floor.
Film Screening (Yale addition to festival): Bethel: Community and Schizophrenia in Northern Japan
Discussion follows with Dr. Karen Nakamura, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and East Asian Studies at Yale
Located in a small fishing town on the northern island of Hokkaido is a small but vibrant group of people with schizophrenia and other psychosocial disabilities. Dr. Nakamura explores the social and cultural accommodations made in order to allow people with severe psychiatric conditions to live in the community – including changes to mental health care, how businesses operate, and relationships with the outside world. A short rough cut of the film, still in production, will be screened, followed by audience interaction with the filmmaker.

7:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum Auditorium, third floor.
Screening of three Mead short films embracing the theme “Reconsidered Identities”:
Ryan, directed by Chris Landreth (14 min., Canada), is an award-winning film and animated tribute to Canadian animator Ryan Larkin. Thirty years ago, at the National Film Board of Canada, Ryan produced some of the most influential animated films of his time. But today, Ryan lives on welfare and panhandles for spare change in downtown Montreal. How could such an artistic genius end up in this situation?
Nalini by Day,
Nancy by Night
, directed by Sonali Gulati (26 min., India/U.S.), looks at the outsourcing of American jobs to India.
Phantom Limb
directed by Jay Rosenblatt (28 min., U.S.), uses the phenomenon of “phantom limb syndrome” as a metaphor to explore feelings about the death of a younger brother forty years ago.

7:00 p.m.
Location: Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall
Mead Film Screening: Al Otro Lado, directed by Natalia Almada (70 min., Mexico/U.S.)
An aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico faces two choices to better his life: traffic drugs or cross the border illegally into the United States.

FRIDAY 10/13
5:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum Auditorium, third floor
Screening: Making Media, Making Change: Youth Rights Media
This program of short films, a community addition to the Mead festival, features the work of youth participating in the local non-profit, Youth Rights Media. YRM engages youth in video media production and community organizing so that young people are equipped with tools, skills, and strategies for affecting change within themselves, their communities, and Connecticut's deeply troubled juvenile justice system. Youth representatives will be in hand to talk with the audience.

7:00 p.m.
Location: Yale Peabody Museum, third floor
Mead Film Screening: Home, directed by Jeffrey M. Togman (78 min., U.S.)
Sheree Farmer, a single mother of six living in a struggling neighborhood in Newark, faces the challenges of buying her first home. Her story, as she attempts to achieve the American dream, is an intimate and touching commentary on race, class, and the future of America’s cities.

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General Information about the Peabody Museum

Located at 170 Whitney Avenue, Exit 3 (Trumbull Street) off I-91. Open Monday to Saturday, from 10 to 5, and Sunday from noon to 5. All programs and exhibits are free with admission unless otherwise noted. Admission is $7 adults, $6 seniors 65+, $5 children 3-18 and students with I.D. Admission is free for everyone on Thursdays from 2-5 pm. Wheelchair accessible. Open Labor Day and Memorial Day. Closed Jan 1, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, December 24 & 25.