Letter to the Dead

Location:Papua New Guinea
Subject:Social change, identity, globalization
Length:61 minutes
Year Released:2002
Director:Andre Iteanu, Eytan Kapon
Library Code:
Description:The approach of the year 2000 caused a whirlwind of concern in a small village in Papua New Guinea. Rumors about a possible computer catastrophe had reached this remote island, and even there the people worried about the security of their money made from selling palm oil that they keep in bank accounts. Moreover, there is a religious dispute going on, as representatives of several Christian missions try to attract the villagers to their church. While quarreling about the pros and cons, they pay less attention to the rituals that honor the dead. According to traditional belief, the dead help their living relatives, who in their turn must celebrate them by holding special ceremonies. As not much help has come from the dead ancestors lately, people tend to believe that they moved away because they felt neglected. Maybe they moved to a rich country, possibly the one from whence the filmmakers came, or perhaps they left for fear that the white people would put them to work. In exploring the reactions of the villagers caught between tradition and modernity, the film addresses the current issue of identity vs. globalization.
Record No:3425
Resources: Distributors's List

If you see any mistakes in this record, please notify the database maintainer (ctisha@hawaii.edu).