Want to voyage around the world and back? The offerings at next weekend’s Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival promise to transport viewers to all corners of the globe. Opening night begins with Sleepingwalking Through the Mekong, a rock ‘n’ roll documentary that follows California combo Dengue Fever as they tour Cambodia. The musical journey focuses on the “historical reality of artists under the Khmer Rouge regime.” The three day festival, held at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, includes films about the digital revolution in China, sexuality issues in Iran and the genre of African horror movies. In conjunction with the museum’s new exhibit H2O = Life (that opens today) the festival will showcase several films related to water, including pieces that examine water-related issues in India and Mexico.
Several films explore aspects of cultural tourism: Grito de Piedra (Scream of the Stone) depicts a Bolivian miner and his son, who is a tour guide to the silver mines in Potosi. Once the source of great colonial wealth, these destitute mines have been re-opened as a tourist destination. And Nomadak Tx showcases nomadic peoples around the world, while following the journey of two Basque musicians who play a tandem percussive instrument (the txalaparta) during their travels to remote locales.
If you can’t catch any films next weekend in New York, be sure to check out the festival’s extensive travel schedule. The annual event is the longest-running premiere festival for international non-fiction media in the United States.