ETNOFILm 10 YEARS RETROSPECT
This year’s selection is a cross-section of the movies from the previous 9 festival years and is by no means “objective”. When selecting films, neither the criteria for equal representation of the competition categories nor the equivalent of all year’s festivals were respected. The selection was not guided by a particular thematic guideline or methodological and genre-like similarities; it was simply guided by impressions those films have left as ethnographic treats worth your attention and the desire to screen them once again.
ETNOFILm 10 years Retrospect Programmer
To select significant films that marked this decade was quite a challenging task I had for the 10th edition of the ETNOFILm Festival.
I ended up choosing 15 films, including different documentary shapes and genres: from talking heads and portrait films to observational fils and auto-ethnographies, which have become increasingly popular amongst anthropology students.
My hope is for audience to recognise the variety of methodological challenges these young authors face. While creating strong imprints of traditional cultures or working in more urban areas, they use striking visual expressions alongside thorough anthropological knowledge to depict routines and realities.
Films coming from ex-yugoslavian region are characterised by rare individual projects and guerilla research as parts of ethnographic film workshops in major regional cities. The only chance for a systemised visual anthropological works prove to be ethnographic excursions to rural areas or, the above mentioned, short workshops that barely scrpae the surface of the ethnographic methods.
Nevertheless, anthropology students coming from the former Yuoslavian republic do not accept the reality of standing on the cross-roads of academic movements. Instead, as misunderstood but engaged audiovisual recorders, they covert their ethnographies, albeit with little proper training, into acceptable anthropological works.
Relja Pekić Carić
Student Section Programmer
In this selection of Istrian ethnographic films, which delicately and truly reveals the weave of local life and customs, there are eleven documentary films that have not yet been shown in any of the editions of the ETNO Film Festival.
An unavoidable contribution to the film archeology of our lives was given by Factum, in the production of which most of the films shown this year were made. Their legendary Imaginary Academy was running in Grožnjan from 1997 to 2001 and was the birthplace of 19 fantastic documentaries, out of which five are included in this year’s program.
Živa Istina writes the history of Croatian film and Tomislav Radić makes the documentary Istriani for Croatian Radio Television; both of these films were made in 1971, a very turbulent period in Croatian history.
Damir Čučić’s observational film La Strada conquers with its joyful depiction of Vodnjan’s main street as an window into the local life while contemporary reflections of today’s Istria are recorded on La Piova, 56 years and The Drought, recent documentaries that have been produced by Pula Film Factory as a part of Istarske Štorije workshop.
Today’s Istria is a beautiful peninsula of unique character and identity and these films show all its richness and variety: the turbulent historical events, folklore and immaterial heritage, unique language and music treasury and a plethora of anthropological and cultural rarities. Above all, these film do what I hope to have achieved: to paint the complex and layered realities of different people who make Istra into what it is today.
Istrian Section Program