Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6, seven films will be screened at Bard College during the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. Presented by the Anthropology Program, the festival is free and open to the public. All films will be shown in the Avery Film Center Theater. “Bard College is happy to bring the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival to the area,” says Laura Kunreuther, director of the Anthropology Program at Bard. “The festival offers the community a chance to see a diverse range of independent, ethnographic films without charge.” The themes of films in the traveling festival include black activism in the United States, women’s leadership roles in Afghanistan and Haiti, and a celebration of the work of Jean Rouch (1917–2004), a renowned French ethnographic filmmaker. The films to be shown over the weekend are Afghanistan Unveiled, Madanm Ti Zo (Mrs. Littlebones), A Panther in Africa, Oscar, Margaret Mead: A Portrait of a Friend, Jaguar, and Screening Room with Robert Gardner: Jean Rouch. The Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival is the longest-running showcase for international documentaries in the United States, encompassing a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction. The festival tackles diverse and challenging subjects, representing a range of issues and perspectives. The festival was founded in 1977 by the American Museum of Natural History, in honor of pioneering anthropologist Margaret Mead on her 75th birthday and her 50th year at the museum. Mead was one of the first anthropologists to recognize the significance of film for fieldwork. For further information, call Kunreuther at 845-758-7215 or e-mail -more- Film Schedule (Programs subject to change; confirm times at Saturday, March 5 Program I: A Tribute to Jean Rouch 2:00 p.m. — Jaguar, directed by Jean Rouch, 1957, 92 minutes, (Niger/ Ghana). Jaguar tells the story of three young men from the Savannah of Niger who leave their homeland to seek wealth and adventure on the coast and in the cities of Ghana. This seminal film is the story of their travels, their encounters along the way, their experiences in Accra and Kumasi, and, after three months, their return to their families and friends at home. 3:45 p.m. — Margaret Mead: A Portrait of a Friend, directed by Jean Rouch, 1978, 30 min. (United States). Jean Rouch filmed this loving and humorous portrait of anthropologist and filmmaker Margaret Mead in September 1977 while he was a guest of the first Margaret Mead Film Festival. As both a friend and a colleague, Rouch reveals a glimpse of the legendary Mead in her later years. 4:15 p.m. — Screening Room with Robert Gardner: Jean Rouch, directed by Robert Gardner, 1980/2004, 15 minutes, (United States). In the early 1970s, artists and professionals fought to change commercial television in Boston. After years of litigation that went all the way to the Supreme Court, the battle was won and WCVB-TV, Channel 5, was founded. From 1973 to 1980, filmmaker Robert Gardner hosted Channel 5’s Screening Room, introducing viewers to seminal experimental, documentary, and animation filmmakers. In this segment, Gardner engages Rouch in an informal conversation about the history of his relationship to anthropology and film, accompanied by clips from some of Rouch’s celebrated works. Program II: 5:00 p.m. — A Panther in Africa, directed by Aaron Matthews, 2004, 71 minutes, (Tanzania). In 1969, Black Panther Pete O’Neal was arrested on a gun charge in Kansas City, Missouri. To avoid conviction, he fled to Africa, where he has spent the last 34 years living in exile in Tanzania. There, he and his wife have devoted themselves to community work dealing with health, literacy, and anti-racism. Now, faced with the possibility of returning to the United States, O’Neal reflects on his life and confronts his radical past. Sunday, March 6 Program III: 2:00 p.m. — Afghanistan Unveiled, directed by Brigitte Brault and Aina Women Filming Group, 2003, 52 minutes, (Afghanistan). The effects of the Taliban’s repressive rule and recent U.S. military campaign on Afghani women are explored. 3:00 p.m. — Madanm Ti Zo (Mrs. Littlebones), directed by David Belle, 2004, 60 minutes, (Haiti). Madanm Ti Zo, a midwife and herbal doctor, runs her own clinic in Jacmal, Haiti. This film provides an intimate look into traditional health practices. 4:30 — Oscar, directed by Sergio Morkin, 2004, 61 minutes, (Argentina). Oscar is a taxi driver, family man, and intrepid guerilla artist who rebels against the bombardment of advertisements in Buenos Aires. In doing so, he attracts attention from both the media and academia as an artist/activist whose story resonates strongly. But can he pay his bills without selling out? # # # (2/23/05)

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This event was last updated on 03-10-2005