Bunong Guu Oh. Bunongs Birth Practices between Tradition and Change
Directed by Tommi Mendel and Brigitte Nikles (Tigertoda Productions) - 2010, 50 min (English).
This film has been conceived on the basis of the social anthropological study of the birth practices of the Bunong in Mondulkiri province, located in the northeast of Cambodia. Social, economic, and political changes are transforming the province tremendously and are affecting villagers' beliefs, perceptions and habits regarding pregnancy, delivery and early motherhood. Traditional midwives, pregnant women, mothers and their families give a personal insight into their present decision-making strategies, and highlight the tension and paradoxes of ancient practices in the modern world.
The documentary has been made in the framework of Nomad RSI Programmes in Cambodia.
Screening and Festivals (official selections)
International Health Film Festival, Kos, Greece (September 2010)
International Festival of Visual Anthropology of Moscow (October 2010)
Ethno Film Festival International Djavoko, Croatia (2010) 30th NAFA International Festival of Ethnographic Film, Århus, Denmark (August-Sept. 2010)
2010 International Festival of Ethnological Film, Belgrad, Serbia (Octobre 2010)
Visit Tigertoda Production website to order the movie.
Les médecines d'Asie aujourd'hui
Directed by Momoko Seto (Réseau Asie - CNRS/IMASIE) - 2008, 88 min (French).
Over the course of history, various types of medical knowledge have crossed cultures and political borders and been grafted on to diverse therapies, some of which have interconnected histories. These processes of construction in Asian medicines continue today. Therapeutic globalization is a contemporary example, which gives to these therapeutic forms a cosmopolitan character. The transformation of these medicines correspond to varied contexts and allow over time the rise of socially and, to some extent medically, different therapies. What may be thought of as the same medical system is in fact significantly transformed when it is practised in Paris, Shanghai, Berlin or Mumbai. While Asian medicines cannot therefore be longer confined within their cultures and source societies, the foundations of their legitimacy remain there, however. In other words, the international circulation of the practitioners and their medicines underscore, sometimes reinforce, the cultural and identity dimension of medicine.
This documentary addresses these issues. It offers insights into the challenges of today's society, such as globalization, nationalisms and cultural change, through the lens of Chinese, Tibetan and Indian medicines transformation. The movie was realised during the 3rd Congress of the Réseau Asie (CNRS-IMASIE) in Paris (Sept. 2007), at a panel coordinated by Laurent Laurent Pordié (IFP / Nomad RSI), with the participation of Anne-Cécile Hoyez (CNRS), Evelyne Micollier (IRD), Brigitte Sébastia (IFP) and Francis Zimmermann (EHESS).
This DVD ca be ordered directly to the Réseau Asie.
Review of the panel by E. Micollier in La Lettre du CReCSS 10: 7-8 (in French).
Synthesis of the lectures by Serge Canasse under the title Traditional Asian medicine, western market, local dévelopment (Carnet de Santé - in French).
Oracles and Demons of Ladakh
Directed by Rob McGann (Avenue E Production) - 2003, 71 min (English).
Isolated in the Indian Himalayas, Ladakh is a western enclave of the Greater Tibetan Plateau untouched by Chinese occupation. Home to each of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism, this vibrant land of high mountain passes is believed to have direct discourse with spirits from the old lands of Tibet. Human mediums for these spirits, or "Oracles" as Ladakhis call them, play an integral role in the culture of the area. They are called upon to divine the future, cure bodily diseases and ward off harmful entities that haunt the land from the mountains. Shot onsite in Jammu and Kashmir, the chronicle follows the tales of several of these shamanic figures across the high-altitude deserts of Ladakh. Narrated by leading authorities on Tibet, the film considers how Oracle practices such as spirit possession, ritual healing, soothsaying and exorcism remain fundamental folk traditions in Tibetan societies to this day. The film features interviews with an array of experts, including: Eric Margolis, Laurent Pordié, Geoffrey Samuel, Robert A.F. Thurman, an assortment of highly respected Rinpoches, as well as the Dalai Lama's own Nechung Oracle.