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13th EASA Biennial Conference
Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution
- innovation and continuity in an interconnected world

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University, Estonia
31st July - 3rd August, 2014

The First Ethnographic Film and Media Programme of the EASA Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia (AMCE) network

Curator and organiser: Pedram Khosronejad (University of St Andrews)

Location: changed to A-325

Ashiq: the last Troubatour (China)

Director:  Liu Xiangcheng; Date: 2010; Running time: 120’
Thu 31st 14:00-16:10
This film is about Uighur wandering Sufi entertainers, history of faith and adherence in the mind of human being. This film records the life of Ashiqs who live in southern border area of Takla Makan Desert, in all its aspect.    Ashiq means the one who being absorbed in something. Unlike traditional life of Sufi orders among Muslim societies, Ashiq who live in southern border area of Takla Makan Desert do different jobs for living except people go into seclusion to cultivate religious sense at Mazar (the tomb of a local Saint).

Flowers from the Mount of Olives (Estonia)

Director: Heilika Pikkov; Date: 2013; Running time: 70’
Thu 31st 16:10-17:40
Right alongside Jerusalem, in a Russian Orthodox Convent in Mount of Olives, lives the 82 year-old Estonian nun Mother Ksenya. Although inside the convent’s cement walls the clock is never set and life still follows the Julius calendar, the 20 years that Mother Ksenya has spent there have passed by in a flash. In the hierarchy of the nunnery she has now achieved the second-to-last level. She is heading towards complete silence, the Great Schema. But before that she has been given permission to tell the story of her life for the very last time.

Mountain Men (Israel)

Director: Dan Bronfeld; Date: 2013; Running time: 29’
Fri 1st 09:00-09:40
Mountain Men is a field diary that depicts the portraits of the Palestinian hard day workers from east Jerusalem. They are employed by the grand death industry at the very bottom of Jerusalem’s biggest and busiest cemetery - Har Hamenochot (‘Resting Mountain’).

Following the Peacock (Hungary)

Director: Eszter Spat; Date: 2013; Running time: 52’
Fri 1st 09:40-10:45
This documentary introduces the Yezidis, a little-known religious minority of Northern Kurdistan of Iraq. In this film the Yezidis follow the tour of their most sacred object, the Standard of the Peacock through the settlements of Sinjar Mountain, where the traditional way of life and customs are undergoing a fast change, due to the political, economic and social shifts of the last decades. 

Ainu, Pathways to memory (Japan & Spain)

Director: Marcos Centeno Martín & Almudena García; Date: 2013 ; Running time: 82’
Fri 1st 11:00-12:35
This is a documentary about the Ainu people of Japan. On a trip which took us from Japan to Europe, we found a people erased from history books. The repeated sentence “I am Ainu” expresses a willingness to overcome their marginal circumstances. But the awakening of the Ainu people faces the mercantilist logic of a global world. Unavoidably, doubt comes to mind: what does being Ainu mean today?

Super Women (Israel)

Director: Yael Kipper & Ronen Zaretzky; Date: 2013; Running time: 80’
Fri 1st 16:00-17:30
The story of five cashiers who work the same shift in a supermarket. Most are immigrants from Russia, others are native Israelis. The film follows their relationships, the mutual support and solidarity, dealing with the management and customers, their difficulties making a living and their working conditions, as they try to change their fate.

Bridging the Divide (U.K. & Canada)

Director: Aliaa Remtilla; Date: 2013; Running time: 40’
Sat 2nd 09:00-09:50
Bridging the Divide' follows an anthropologist and her Tajik host father, Shirinbek, on a journey across the border into Afghanistan. This is the first time that Shirinbek has visited this Afghan village, one that he can see from his house in Tajikistan. As Shirinbek explores the place, he meets with relatives he knew about but had never previously met. In following Shirinbek's journey, 'Bridging the Divide' explores how human beings can be bridges, building connections based on a shared humanity without dissolving certain social and political differences that continue to be maintained.

Masters of Overtone Singing (France)

Director: Jean-Francois Castel; Date: 2013; Running time: 53’
Sat 2nd 09:50-10:55
This documentary, filmed on the vast steppes of Mongolia and in Le Mans and Rennes in France, takes us on an extraordinary musical and ethnological journey: revealing how the concert tour was created, how the four individual singers learn to perform together, as well as the methods of teaching overtone singing and the researches of Johnanni Curtet into the origins of this ancestral music.

Behind the Wheel (UK)

Director: Elise Laker; Date: 2013; Running time: 20’
Sat 2nd 11:00-11:30
Every year, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers leave Tajikistan in search of employment. The money sent back provides a huge boost to the economy; in fact, Tajikistan is the most remittance-dependent country in the world. The vast majority of these migrants are male, which means the Tajik population is becoming ever-more female. So what happens to the women who are left behind? Behind the Wheel explores the moral and emotional turmoil of Nigora, an Uzbek woman whose traditional life of being a housewife is turned upside down after her migrant husband fails to send back enough money and she finds out he has been having an affair. No longer able to rely on her husband, Nigora defies prevailing gender norms and sets to work fixing car tires.

Cinema Palestine

Director: Tim Schwab; Running time: 78’
Sat 2nd 11:30-13:00
Cinema Palestine is a poetic documentary project exploring the emergence of a Palestinian cinema in recent years, and documenting the similar and differing conceptions of land and space in Palestinian cinema.