Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter

A film by Leonard Kamerling, Sarah Elder,
Country: USA,
Duration: 90min,
LanguageYup’ik, English,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 1988

Dance was once at the heart of Yup’ik spiritual, social, and economic life. It was the bridge between the ancient and the present, the living and the dead and a person’s own power and the greater powers of the unseen world. Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter, presents the spiritual world of Yup’ik dance, music, and reciprocal gift-giving. The Yup’ik people speak about how their history, social values, and spiritual beliefs are woven around the songs and dances that have been handed down to them through the generations.  Named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2006.

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Few Are like Father No One like Mother

A film by Lisbet Høltedahl,
Country: Norway,
Duration: 1h05min,
Language: Norwegian,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 1987

A film about women’s lives in the fishing village of Ersfjordbotn in northern Norway. Filmed in the middle of the 1980s, when the regions of Northern Norway were undergoing rapid social change, the film presents several personal life stories of elderly and younger women, problematizing the social marginalization of local women.

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The Herders of Mongun-Taiga

A film by John Sheppard,
Anthropologist: Caroline Humphrey,
Country: Russia,
Duration: 50min,
Language: Russian,
Subtitles: English,
Year: 1989

A Disappearing World film crew was permitted to film the nomadic yak-herders of Mongun-Taiga, or `sacred wilderness’, a rugged district on the border with Mongolia. The film looks at the methods the herders use to protect their children from destructive spirits. The opportunities for modern Soviet life which attract many young people are countered by the pull of an independent Mongolia, which is much closer to the Tuvinians in culture and way of life. Part of what makes this film interesting is the film-makers’ admission of the material they were not able to obtain.

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