|The Artful Ethnography of Vincent Carelli|
Preceded by: Morayngava (Regina Mü;ller, Virginia Valadão, Brazil, 1997). The Asurini people describe the contradictions inherent in the use of video to collect cultural images. (17 mins)In Vincent Carelli's uniquely sumptuous and dramatic ethnography, we witness Amazonian peoples confronting their own ethnicity through video's alluring ability to represent it. Indigenous Brazilians have invested this visual technology with the properties of a tool, a weapon, and a mask. In Meeting Ancestors (A arca dos Zo'é) (1993, 21 mins), a wondrous cultural exchange occurs when Chief Wai-Wai of the Waiãpi views footage of the Zo'é, a tribe sharing a similar language, and then crosses the "Big River" for a visit. We Gather As a Family (Eu já fui seu irmão) (1993, 32 mins) finds the chief of the Parakatêjê musing over the erosion of cultural integrity and, through an exchange with the more traditional Krahô, becoming inspired to reinvigorate tribal rites. Three years later, we again visit the Waiãpi, now engaged in a struggle to repel the encroachment of prospectors in their land: Signs Don't Speak (with Dominique Gallois, 1996, 27 mins) uses storytelling as well as documentary footage to illustrate their ironic efforts to survey their own territory. Now with distinct borders, the Waiãpi ponder the limits of culture.-Steve SeidVincent Carelli's videoworks represent the remarkable efforts of the Centro de Trabalho Indigenista, a group that brings video to indigenous people to aid in their fight to preserve endangered cultures.
• (Total running time: 97 mins, In Portuguese and indigenous languages with English subtitles, Color, 3/4" video, From Video Data Bank)