2011 PROGRAMME

Around the World in 90 Films

Plan your days! Explore the full film and sessions programme with prize screenings, workshops, special events. Consult the interactive map of film locations in 38 countries.
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FILM PRIZES AND AWARDS

The Royal Anthropological Institute is pleased to announce that the following Film Prizes have been awarded at the 12th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, London, 23rd - 26th June 2011.

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FORMER RAI FESTIVALS

11th RAI Film Festival, 2009
CTCC, Leeds Metropolitan University

10th RAI Film Festival, 2007
GCVA, The University of Manchester

7th RAI Film Festival, 2000
SOAS, University of London

OPEN CITY at the RAI

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Maasai Saga (1974 – 1994)
Including conversation with the Director Melissa Llewelyn-Davies.
 
In 1970, the Maasai lived supremely confident in the wisdom and moral grounding of their way of life. Over the years that followed their self confidence was shattered, their way of life profoundly undermined. Maasai had to find new ways to make sense of their lives. Anthropologists normally only present a snapshot in time of the lives of others. Melissa Llewelyn-Davies' classic series of nine films shot over a generation offer a unique opportunity to watch history at work among one of the grandest cultures known to humankind.
 
Come along – watch and discuss!
 
 
 
 
 10:00
1975 MAASAI WOMEN
52' | Granada TV, Dissapearing World
 
The earliest of the films, focussing on the lives of women it includes a female circumcision and a marriage. Through the eyes of the mothers we see a spectacular ceremony marking the transition of the exquisite dressed moran, the young, unmarried warriors, into fledgling elders. Interviews with women including Nolpiyaya, Mayaini and Sein, reflect on their lives. Womens’ songs, subtly changed with each new rendition, describe their feelings about their children, lovers and husbands.
 11:00
1984 DIARY OF A MAASAI VILLAGE
PART 2: TWO WAYS OF JUSTICE
52' | BBC 2
 
NARIKU, the Prophet’s fifth wife has two sons in difficulty. One is in hospital having been gored by a buffalo; the other, RERENKO, is in prison accused of stealing from Kikuyu cattle traders who buy Maasai cows in markets near Nairobi. TIPAYIA, another of her sons, is trying to raise money to pay a lawyer who may, or may not, be trying to help Rerenko and another Maasai arrested with him - though quite what the money is for is unclear. A theft of cattle from the prophet allows us to see how Maasai justice is achieved.
 12:00
1984 DIARY OF A MAASAI VILLAGE
Part 3: TWO MOTHERS
50' | BBC 2
 
Nariku hurryies home from a circumcision at a neighbouring village when she hears that Tipayia and Tuluyia have come back with news of Rerenko. The news is not good. In order to pay the lawyer, Tipayia decides to sell some cattle in the Nairobi markets and joins up with other young men for the ten day journey across the Rift Valley. Then more bad news arrives: The prophet’s fourth wife, Nolpiyaya hears that her eldest son has also been arrested, this time in Tanzania as he was visiting Piyaya, his mother’s birth-place. The ‘stones are thrown’, a method of divination, to discover what has happened and whether another of her sons, LANET, should go to find him. The stones give their verdict.
 13:00
1984 DIARY OF A MAASAI VILLAGE
Part 4: TWO JOURNEYS
50' | BBC 2
 
One of the prophet’s sons sets out for the village of a girl he is hoping to marry. Meanwhile Tipayia and his travelling companions have arrived at the markets outside Nairobi where we see how the cows from Loita are laundered through different markets. In the first, they are sold to Maasai and Kikuyu dealers. In the second the buyers are almost exclusively Kikuyu. By the third, the legal market, the animals have mysteriously acquired certificates of good health so they can be sold on to the canning factories and large syndicates. Back in Maasailand, the Prophet’s new daughter-in-law begins the long walk away from her village to her new home. On arrival, she is taunted and insulted in the customary way, as her co-wife, Seela, was in ‘Maasai Women’. Unlike most brides, she doesn’t cry. We only find out why in 1995, in the course of ‘Memories and Dreams.’
 14:15
THE WOMENS’ OLAMAL
110' | BBC
 
Every four years Maasai hold a magnificent ceremony: the Women’s Blessing with Saliva. Without it women are fated to remain barren and barrenness is disastrous for a woman. Unfortunately, across the border in Tanzania, blood-wealth of forty-nine cows is about to be paid for a murder committed some years ago and it would be inauspicious to hold the two ceremonies in the same month. The men decide they cannot allow Olamal to go ahead. But the women are desperate and determined. This unforgettable film follows the arguments and strategies they put forward to defeat those of the men. Relations deteriorate and the women decide on extraordinary methods to get their way. Eventually the men and women of Loita are engaged in a spiritual fight to the death.
 16:15
Discussion
with the Director Melissa Llewelyn-Davies
 17:15
MEMORIES AND DREAMS
90' | BBC 2
 
Twenty-five years after first living in the village (1970-1972) Melissa returned to the village with a film crew. They took a television and a generator to show the villagers some of the films made about them. And the finished film is cut through with archive footage from some of the earlier films. The village is in a melancholy mood. The Laibon is dead and the village itself is starting to break up as the elders set up individual villages of their own. They have been forced, by declining herds, to take up agriculture, digging and fencing fields for maize and potatoes. In future, men will live alone with their wives, surrounded by small fields, like the Kikuyu and other East African peoples. They know this will happen but they are not yet reconciled. Old themes return – the timing of and meaning of circumcision. But the Maasai feel that nothing is as it used to be. One sums up their feeling: ‘The past is a foreign country.’
 18:45
Concluding Discussion
with the Director Melissa Llewelyn-Davies