Humboldt-Forum Berlin - Slices of Life: Evoking Memories


The "Slices of Life - Evoking Memories" film day is a collaboration between the Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss and the German International Ethnographic Film Festival (GIEFF).

Programme at Humboldt-Forum

El Signo Vacío - The Empty Sign

United States, 2023, 76 min
Location: Puerto Rico
A Film by: Kathryn Ramey

Mixing a hundred years of found footage - tourism, agricultural and propaganda films - with contemporary portraits of artists and activists this film is a journey through the complex layers of the United States’ occupation of Puerto Rico. Using an experimental and ethnographic approach the film reveals how carefully crafted American fictions of “democracy” and “debt” obscure a capitalist and military domination.
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France, 2020, 97,5 min
Location: Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
A Film by: Alexandre Berman, Olivier Pollet

“Ophir” tells the story of an extraordinary indigenous revolution for life, land and culture, opening up the path for the creation of the world’s newest nation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. A poetic yet dramatic ode to the indelible thirst for freedom, culture and sovereignty; the film sheds light on the biggest conflict of the Pacific since the second World War, revealing the visible and invisible chains of colonization and its enduring cycles of physical and psychological warfare. The film is complemented by an educational/outreach multimedia platform launched in November 2020:
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Seven Ridges

Mexico, 2022, 75 min
Location: Mexico
A Film by: Antonio Coello

In a desert by the sea, an ancient culture endures modernity. A grandmother and her granddaughter intertwine in estrangement over memory. The myth sheds controversy; time falls in dreams of sand, old songs, and rock music. This captivating premise sets the stage for "Seven Ridges" by Antonio Coello, an award-winning film depicting the divergent paths of two sisters and their unsettling impact on the family. Notably, it's the first full-length feature drama produced in the Cmiique Iitom (Seri language), contributing to the revitalization of Seri indigenous culture and language while exploring the conflict of collective memory grappling with the challenges of modernity.

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Germany, 2021, 21 min
Location: Germany
A Film by: Christian Becker

Christian Becker explores in his film "Lydia" the lives of his aunt Lydia and uncle Wolfgang B. over two decades, revealing their joys, struggles, and the hidden turmoil of Lydia's battle with cancer. Through private film recordings taken by the couple in the late 1970s and Wolfgang's diary texts from 1992, Becker paints a vivid picture of their symbiotic marriage, filled with passion, disciplined work and Lydia's fear of a fatal second tumor. Despite its deeply personal origins, "Lydia" transcends individual boundaries to deliver a universal narrative, serving as a poignant reminder of life's inherent fragility.

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Chronicle of a Digital Funeral

Palestine, State of, 2022, 11 min
Location: Palestine
A Film by: Sophia Harb

“Chronicle of a Digital Funeral” is an intimate conversation with Nasser Jaber, a socially motivated chef based in New York City, reflecting on his father’s burial in Palestine, which he could not attend because of Covid-19. After hearing of the death of Nasser’s father, Sophia Harb contacted and interviewed him online. She also obtained funeral footage recorded by Muhammed Jaber.

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Cameroon, 2023, 82 min
Location: Cameroon
A Film by: Augustine Moukodi

"Amen" by Augustine Moukodi follows Tunda, a prominent member of the Kodi community, who fights to integrate his tradition into formal teaching. As Tunda navigates through tradition and modernity, he must deal with the impending succession of chief Dikia. Dikia has no sons and his wife is pregnant. Tunda faces resistance from the local priest and also faces illegal activities in the sacred forest. This leads to growing tensions and questions about the future of the community, the succession, the fate of the sacred forest and the planned conference on the teaching of the tradition.

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Screening: 11.05.2024 15:20

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Affiorare - Surfacing (VR)

Portugal, Italy, 2022, 20 min
Location: Italy
A Film by: Rosella Schillaci

"Affiorare (Surfacing)" by Rosella Schillaci is an experimental VR documentary set in prisons, offering a fairy tale-like immersion into the everyday lives of mothers and children in custody. Using 360° footage at children’s eye level and animations, Schillaci invites her viewers on a magical journey, experiencing the iconic Panopticon system and modern confinement centers through the eyes of the protagonists. The film poetically captures the protagonists initial impressions of prison life, including the smells, fears, and challenges they face.

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La Piragua - The Dugout Canoe (VR)

Colombia, 2023, 25 min
Location: Colombia
A Film by: Germán Fidel Villalobos, Andrew Simon Tucker

La Piragua VR (The Dugout Canoe) is an explorable virtual reality application that transgresses the boundary between 360º nonfiction video and a game-like experience. Set somewhere between the real and imagined worlds of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, players explore a virtual mangrove swamp, discovering lost objects and triggering 360º videos showcasing ancestral crafts of local communities. The film emerges from a collaborative project that aims to bring the lived and imagined experiences of different communities of Colombia's Caribbean coast to an immersive and magical world, in which myths and realism seamlessly merge.
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