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Ethnography

Romances de terre et d’eau, 2002

A reverent, humbling, and impassioned observation of life among the landless, peasant farmers of the semi-arid Carriri region of Ceará in northeastern Brazil, Jean-Pierre Duret and Andrea Santana’s poetic ethnographic documentary Romances de terre et d’eau bears the deep humanism and trenchant, sociopolitical commitment of its venerable producers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Insightfully filmed near… read more »

Gbanga-Tita, 1994/Anton Webern, 1991/Wild Blue: Notes for Several Voices, 2000

Gbanga-Tita, 1994 Defined by Thierry Knauff as a purely cinematic “moment of grace” (during his introductory remarks on the films being presented), Gbanga-Tita was initially shot as footage for his ethnographic film on the Baka pygmy of the Equatorial forest in South-East Cameroon, Baka. The film consists of a single unbroken close-up shot of LengĂ©,… read more »

The Fourth Dimension, 2001

The opening image of author, poet, theorist, composer, ethnographer, and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first digital video feature, The Fourth Dimension is a view from a moving vehicle on a fog-laden stretch of highway at dusk. A secondary rectangular frame then blocks the visible image of the fleeting landscape, and the aperture begins to drift,… read more »

Naked Spaces: Living Is Round, 1985

In Naked Spaces: Living Is Round, Trinh T. Minh-ha expounds on the themes of postcolonial identification and the geopolitical (and social) apparatus of disempowerment in Reassemblage to create dense, thoughtful, and articulate ethnographic essay film on indigenous identity, the impossibility of translation, and architecture as cultural representation. The prefacing image provides a terse, yet incisive… read more »

Reassemblage, 1982

Neither an ennobled (or exoticized) slice-of-life cultural documentary nor an expository thesis framed within the logic structure of an essay film, Reassemblage is, instead, what Trinh T. Minh-ha describes in her book Cinema Interval as an “interrogation” – an idiosyncratic (if not compositionally radical) approach to the ethnographic study of contemporary Senegal that seeks to… read more »

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