Film Screening Programme – Thursday 24th

Family subsistence in the hills of Hamar. We are guests of Shawa

Year: 2019
Length: 58 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Jean Lydall, Kaira Strecker
Distributor: RAI
Country of production: Germany
Country/Location of Film: Ethiopia

The film is a sequel to former films on Hamar directed by Jean Lydall and Kaira Strecker. Kaira’s childhood friend Shawa moved as a young widow with two sons to her present home in search of good land. Here she met Garombe and had four more children. We get close to each family member in scenes of daily life, starting with children milking cows at dawn. After taking grain by donkey to a distant flourmill, Shawa and daughters brew beer, which the sons drink when plowing the field. We learn how Shawa trained oxen to plow, and Garombe explains digging-stick cultivation is a thing of the past. He repairs the fence around his enclosure for plow-oxen and future fields. One son checks his beehive, cattle return home, children milk goats, and Shawa and girls prepare the evening meal.

Jean Lydall is an anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker, and her daughter, Kaira Strecker, is a drama teacher and camerawoman. Since 1970, Jean has devoted her anthropological research and filmmaking to the Hamar of Southern Ethiopia. Here, Kaira spent the first three years of her life, and another year when she was eleven/twelve years old.

Before working on her own films, Jean helped her husband, Ivo Strecker, by recording sound for his films Father of the Goats (1984) and Song of the Hamar Herdsman (1986). Jean then made three films for the BBC, The Hamar Trilogy (1990–1994) together with Joanna Head. Ivo, Jean and Kaira worked as a family team, using footage from 1983, to make Sweet Sorghum. An ethnographers’ daughter remembers life in Hamar.(1995). Jean and Kaira (by then a trained camerawoman) went on to make Duka’s Dilemma. A visit to Hamar, Southern Ethiopia (2001). Being screened Thursday 24 August at 09.30 at the Ethnographic Exploratory, Copenhagen University

Both Sides

Year: 2023
Length: 37 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Liivo Niglas, Frode Storaas Producer/production company: mp doc OÜ
Country of production: Estonia, Norway Country/location of film: Mozambique

Archaeologists from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Norway have hiked every corner of the Vumba hills in Western Mozambique for signs of ancient societies. The aim has been to map the tangible cultural heritage and understand the importance of some of the sites in current cultural practices and ancestral beliefs. The sites in this region still have a “life” and play an essential role in local cultural practices. Such knowledge is crucial for researchers but also for custodians of local traditions. David Frangue, the cultural officer of the Manica District, initiated this film, which follows the Norwegian archaeologist Tore Walderhaug Sætersdal, who led the project called ‘Archaeological Research and Management in Mozambique’. Thus, a close collaboration was formed during the research. As the tangible and intangible intertwine in this rich cultural heritage, respect for the local traditions and the custodians of the sites has been a crucial part of the archaeological project.

Liivo Niglas is a research fellow at the Department of Ethnology in the University of Tartu, Estonia. He runs an independent production company, Mp Doc, for anthropological documentary films. He has made films in Siberia, Africa, Central Asia, and North America. Some of his works are: The Brigade (2000), Yuri Vella’s World (2003), Adventure High (2004), Making Rain (2007), Fish On! (2008), Itelmen Stories (2010), Journey to the Maggot Feeder (2015), The Land of Love (2016), and To Save a Language (2020).

Frode Storaas is a professor emeritus in visual
anthropology at the University Museum of Bergen, Norway. As a filmmaker he has worked in several countries. Among his award-winning films are A Kali Temple Inside Out (2018) and Tama Gaun (2015) (both together with Dipesh Kharel), Making Rain (2007), (together with Liivo Niglas), Our Courtyard (2006) (together with He Yuan Wang), Fish On! (2008), (together with Liivo Niglas and Diane Perlov), The Go-Between (2014), (together with Rolf Scott and Getachew Kassa). Storaas has been the General Secretary of NAFA and helped initiate the Journal of Anthropological Films (

Being screened Thursday 24 August at around 10.50 at the Ethnographic Exploratory, Copenhagen University

An Indian Love Story

Year: 2023
Length: 60 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Dipesh Kharel, Frode Storaas
Producer/production company: Media Help Line (Nepal), University Museum, UiBergen (Norway)
Country of production: Nepal, Norway, Japan
Country/location of film: India

Kuldeep is in love. But the girl he wants to marry comes from a more prestigious community than him. No matter how much Kuldeep seeks help from Goddess Kali, the girl’s father is difficult to convince. All societies have rules for marriage, some more strict than others. ‘Obey your father and mother’ is a universal norm. Innumerable Bollywood films depict young couples who face such obstacles. How does Kuldeep, and his girlfriend, relate to this?

Dipesh Kharel is a visual ethnographer and filmmaker and has a post-doctoral fellowship at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. He has already produced several award-wining ethnographic films, notably A Life with Slate (2006), Playing with Nan (2012), Tama Gaun (2015) and A Kali Temple Inside Out (2018).

These films have been screened at more than 60 international film festivals around the world and won several prizes.

Frode Storaas is professor emeritus in visual
anthropology at the University Museum of Bergen, Norway. As a filmmaker he has worked in several countries. Among his award-winning films are A Kali Temple Inside Out (2018) and Tama Gaun (2015) (both together with Dipesh Kharel), Making Rain (2007), (together with Liivo Niglas), Our Courtyard (2006) (together with He Yuan Wang), Fish On! (2008), (together with Liivo Niglas and Diane Perlov), The Go-Between (2014), (together with Rolf Scott and Getachew Kassa). Storaas has been the General Secretary of NAFA and helped initiate the Journal of Anthropological Films (

Being screened Thursday 24 August at 12.00 at the Ethnographic Exploratory, Copenhagen University


Year: 2022
Length: 27 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Lucia Barrenetxea Lopez Producer/production company: Del Mar Films Ltd Country of production: UK, Spain Country/location of film: Spain

Duende explores the roots of flamenco culture within the context of the Saeta song, the only flamenco music performed a cappella and dedicated to the Virgin and Christ that parade around the streets during Easter week. Celebrating 100 years of Garcia Lorca’s Deep Song contest, Duende takes us through one of the most awaited festivals in Granada, Spain: Easter week. It is an intimate, unexpected tale of an encounter with the afterlife, a series of miracles that can only be experienced through watching, being immersed in the film.

Lucia Barrenetxea Lopez is a multidisciplinary artist with a
special interest in filmmaking. She started her career as a
dancer completing a dance degree in contemporary, classical and flamenco dance awarded by the Theatre Institute of Barcelona, followed by participating and coming first in international dance awards and festivals.

She then studied Meisner technique at the Acting Studio in New York City. Shortly after she was accepted by Goldsmiths’s College to join a degree in English and Drama where she was able to develop her writing, directing and acting skills as well as keeping her dance practice. Deciding to further pursue her academic career, she has completed an MA in Visual Anthropology in order to explore further the effectiveness of documentary. Her films are made to inspire and be enjoyed, as well as offering the generosity of intimacy, deep connection and a new perspective on human, artistic and anthropological matters.

Being screened Thursday 24 August at around 13.15 at the Ethnographic Exploratory, Copenhagen University

The missing tale

Year: 2022
Length: 85 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Klára Trencsényi Producer/production company: Éclipse Film
Country of production: Hungary
Country/location of film: India

What happens when you grew up in a family that’s been silent about its past and you suddenly find your roots on the other side of the planet…? For 2000 years there’s been a
flourishing Jewish community in the South Indian city of Cochin. When I started to shoot my film, there were only 7 people left. Among them I came to discover my ‘Jewish
grandmother’, Sarah Cohen. Once the backbone of the community, the 95-year-old matriarch was slowly losing her memory – so the memory of the entire community was in
danger. The film follows the efforts of three self-appointed Wardens to carry on this age-old heritage. One of them is a Muslim tailor, Thaha (45), who takes over Sarah’s embroidery of Jewish ritual cloths and documents the last moments of her life. Another is Babu (60), the warden of a crumbling synagogue, who miraculously renovates his temple. The third is an Israeli artist, Meydad (34) who comes to Cochin to paint the portrayal of his forefathers on collapsing Jewish buildings. During the shooting of this documentary, I become another warden of the Cochini memory: by juxtaposing my Eastern European identity full of repressions with the mirage of Cochini tolerance. Until I realize that my newly found ‘Indian grandmother’ is also hiding secrets from me…

Klára Trencsényi is a film director and cinematographer committed to creative and social documentaries. Klara graduated from the Hungarian Film Academy in Budapest as Director of Photography. Prior to her first feature-length, award-winning documentary, Train to Adulthood, she directed several mid-length documentaries like Corvin Variations (2011), Birds Way (2009), and a short documentary 3Weddings– Elena&Leo (2009).

Her work has been screened around the world and she has worked in many international productions as director of photography with Dutch, American and Hungarian directors and won several awards. Since 2020 she is a Visiting Professor of Practice at the Vienna-based Central European University, teaching documentary writing, directing and film presentation techniques. She has designed and taught courses of Participatory Video at OLIve, Open Learning Initiative for Refugees at CEU Budapest. Klara is a co-founder of DunaDOCK Creative Documentary Development Forum.

Being screened Thursday 24 August at 16.30 at the Cinematheque of the Danish Film Institute

A Letter to Lanka

Year: 2023
Length: 28 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Ilakkiya Simon Producer/production company: UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Country of production: Norway Country/location of film: Sri Lanka

A Letter To Lanka moves between memories of the civil war to the present political turmoil. Told through a poetic and personal journey of the filmmaker`s reconnection to land, soil and people, it invites the audiences into existential questions of belonging in a chaotic world. What does it mean to be at home in the world: What binds people together, and what can break them apart?

Ilakkiya Mariya Simon has recently completed her Master of Visual
Anthropology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. She holds a BA in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen, where she founded The Ethnographic Film Club. Prior to getting into anthropology she was a teacher and movement practitioner from different disciplines and arts.

Her experiences with movement and her Sri Lankan ancestry are what underpins her anthropological interest exploring existential themes of home, belonging, identity, and the environment. Ilakkiya is passionate about her intimate and fragmented relationship to Sri Lanka.

Being screened Thursday 24 August at around 18.00 at the Cinematheque of the Danish Film Institute

Light Upon Light

Year: 2022
Length: 78 minutes
Director/filmmaker: Christian Suhr Producer/production company: Hassala Films
Country of production: Egypt, Denmark
Country/location of film: Egypt

A fieldtrip into the mystical traditions of Islam exploring people’s search for light at a time of darkness and political tension in post revolutionary Egypt. Sonia sees
light streaming into her heart from a person’s finger. Aya is lifted into a luminous space in the midst of a ritual. Maher travels to the shrine of a holy man to find out if the light and love that people are referring to is real. Meanwhile the film crew, Muhammad, Amira, and Christian tries to find out how they can film these experiences of light and how there can be so much light and darkness in this world and inside themselves.

Christian Suhr is a filmmaker and professor at the Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University, Denmark. He is the author and director of the award-winning film and book Descending with angels about possession, psychiatry, and Islamic exorcism (MUP 2019). Light upon light is the first film in a planned trilogy with the Cairo-based film collective Hassala Films. The second film examines the experience and cultivation of love and is now in pre-production.

Being screened Thursday 24 August at 19.00 at the Cinematheque of the Danish Film Institute