The third annual Margaret Mead Traveling Film Festival is coming to the Virgin Islands. Each year, the American Museum of Natural History in New York screens dozens of the best innovative, non-fiction films and selects favorites for its traveling show. Once again, the University of the Virgin Islands will host this traveling festival of excellent films from around the world on April 10-12.
This year's program features six films. All of them will be screened free of charge from 6-10 p.m., in Chase Auditorium, Room 110 of the Business Building on the St. Thomas campus and on St. Croix in the Theater – Evans Center, room 401. Two films will be screened each night.
Sunday April 12
"Stone Pastures" Himalayas and Finland- 75 minutes 2008.
"Stone Pastures" tells the story of a nomadic family living on the Himalayan plateau of Chantang, Ladakh. In this high-altitude, cold desert, the most inhospitable of environments, father Sonam, mother Phuntsok, old uncle Tsewang and the boys, Padma and Kunsang, struggle rearing pashmina goats. This struggle contains a paradox: Ladakh´s gritty, rocky conditions give rise to the finest of materials: pashmina wool. Produced by the nomads´ goats as a warm undercoat, this is the raw material for luxurious Kashmiri shawls and the family´s only source of income. The film follows them through the seasons in the context of their livelihood. Aspiring towards a more comfortable, settled life, we find Ladakh´s nomads in a state of transition, between traditional life and modern ways. In the film, this transition is seen mainly through the eyes of the family´s youngest son, Kunsang, as he moves away from the life of his ancestors, traveling between the high plateau and boarding school in Leh, Ladakh´s capital.
"Bomb Harvest" – Laos and Australia – 88 minutes 2007.
Over 35 years ago, during the Vietnam War, American bombs rained down on Laos in the Secret War, leaving it the most bombed country, per capita, in history. The deadly legacy of this destruction continues, with the country still scattered with unexploded ordnance. A huge live bomb is found behind a village school, and straight-talking, laconic, Australian bomb-disposal specialist Laith Stevens arrives to check it out. He's in the process of training a new 'big bomb' team, so he reluctantly leaves the bomb's disposal until the team is up to the task. Reluctant, because rural poverty has triggered a brisk illegal trade in bomb scrap metal, and the local children are out hunting for bombs. In order to find the right person to deal with the very dangerous bomb behind the school, Laith will take his team of fledgling bomb disposal specialists down to a remote area of the Ho Chi Minh Trail where they will test their new skills on live bombs for the first time. With the Lao ability to find the humor in horrific circumstances, Laith uses his larrikin jokes and can-do attitude to bond with the team and local villagers in order to get them through this harrowing task alive. But will they get back to the bomb behind the school in time?
Seating is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For information about the Margaret Mead Film Festival, contact Prof. Alex Randall at 693-1377 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org