Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival comes to University of Oregon
Jan 26,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Museum of Natural and Cultural History to host documentary film festival in February.

The University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History will host three programs from the "Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival" on Friday evenings in February.

The festival, organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is the longest-running showcase for international documentaries in the United States, encompassing a broad spectrum of work from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction.

Seating begins at 5 p.m. Shows begin at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $2 for the general public, $3 for University of Oregon faculty, students and staff. Museum members are admitted free.

Sponsors are the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Oregon Humanities Center and the departments of romance languages, English and anthropology. For more information, call 541-346-3024.

The programs, times and venues are:

Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m., Room 175, Knight Law Center, 70 minutes
* Theme: Music and Borderlands
"Al Otro Lado" by Natalia Almada

An aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico faces two choices to better his life: Traffic drugs or cross the border illegally into the United States. From Sinaloa, Mexico, to the streets of South Central and East Los Angeles, "Al Otro Lado" explores the complex world of drug smuggling, illegal immigration and the corrido music that captures it all.

Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m. Room 184, Knight Law Center, 60 minutes
* Theme: Unexpected Cultural Ties
"Awake Zion" by Monica Haim

Have you ever wondered why Jews and Rastafarians share the same Star of David and references to Zion? "Awake Zion" is a story about unsuspecting cultural convergences. Through music, interviews, history and performance, the film investigates the symbols, laws, cultures and themes shared by two communities that might appear to be on opposite ends of the spiritual spectrum.

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., Room 110, Knight Law Center
* Theme: Women's Rights (2 films)
"Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan" by Petr Lom, 51 minutes
"Children of the Decree" by Florin Iepan, 52 minutes

"Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan" is a documentary about the custom of bride kidnapping, an ancient marriage tradition in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic in Central Asia. When a Kyrgyz man decides to marry, he often abducts the woman he has chosen. The abducted woman is held captive until someone from her family arrives to determine whether they will accept the "proposal" and she will agree to marry her kidnapper. This film offers unprecedented access to stories of four women, documenting their abductions in harrowing detail, from their tearful protests to their physical restraint to the tense negotiations between the respective families. While some of the marriages conclude happily or peacefully, others do not.

In "Children of the Decree," the feminist movement in the West by the mid-1960s was advancing women's reproductive rights, but in Romania, under the Ceausescu regime, women's reproductive rights were managed by the state. Decree 770 criminalized contraception and abortion for women under the age of 40 unless they were already raising at least four children. This film interweaves state propaganda, documentary and feature films with candid testimony of public figures, gynecologists and abortionists to highlight the devastating consequences for women and their families. The film blends archival footage, excerpts from old fiction films and interviews with famous personalities from the time period.

The museum and the museum store are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays except on major holidays.