Bitter Melons
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection

Bitter Melons
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Funeral Festivities
A Hugo Zemp Film. Among the Senufo people of northern Cote d'Ivoire, the balafon (xylophone with calabash resonators) is an emblematic musical instrument. This film shows balafon orchestras playing in five villages during the two principal days of funeral festivities, celebrations that include the most important rites, ceremonies and rejoicings…
Friend, Well Come!
Among the Senufo people of northern Cote d'Ivoire, the balafon (xylophone with calabash resonators) is an emblematic musical instrument. Returning to Senufo country 40 years after his first encounter with balafon music in 1958, ethnomusicologist Hugo Zemp recalls memories of this and subsequent visits in the early 60s, before participating…
The Wood and the Calabash
Part of the Series: Masters of the Balafon series
A Hugo Zemp Film. Among the Senufo people of northern Cote d'Ivoire, the balafon (xylophone with calabash resonators) is an emblematic musical instrument. Balafon makers are all musicians, but a balafon player isn't necessarily an instrument maker. The film shows in detail the manufacture of this musical instrument, an indispensable…
The Joy of Youth
Part of the Series: Masters of the Balafon series
A Hugo Zemp Film. Among the Senufo people of northern Cote d'Ivoire, the balafon (xylophone with calabash resonators) is an emblematic musical instrument. The music of the balafon is a source of joy while the young men are doing collective work in the fields, at age-group ceremonies, for the poro…
Masters of the Balafon series
Balafon is the name given in French speaking West Africa to a xylophone with calabash resonators. This instrument is emblematic of the Senufo people of the Cote d'Ivoire (the former Ivory Coast). The balafon is played under differing circumstances and in combination with different groups of instruments. Not for nothing…
The Nuer
"Portrays the Nuer, Nilotic herdsmen of the Nile basin. Shows how their daily lives revolve about their cattle, and depicts the psychological bonds between them. Includes extensive use of Nuer music and poetry." "A poetic film concentrating on evocative images of life among a group of Nuer living in Ethiopia.…
!Kung Short Films Series
Between 1950 and 1958, John Marshall made four expeditions to film the Ju/'hoansi (a group of !Kung Bushmen) of the Nyae Nyae region of Namibia (then South West Africa). Marshall and his family, who together undertook an extensive multi-disciplinary study of Ju/'hoansi, spent the greatest amount of time with the…
N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman
This film provides a broad overview of Ju/'hoan life, both past and present, and an intimate portrait of N!ai, a Ju/'hoan woman who in 1978 was in her mid-thirties. N!ai tells her own story, and in so doing, the story of Ju/'hoan life over a thirty year period. "Before the…
Kalahari Family Collection
A Kalahari Family is a five-part, six-hour series documenting 50 years in the lives of the Ju/'hoansi of southern Africa, from 1951 to 2000. These once independent hunter-gatherers experience dispossession, confinement to a homeland, and the chaos of war. Then as hope for Namibian independence and the end of apartheid…
Siaka, An African Musician
Siaka Diabate is a musician at Bouake, the second largest town in the Cote d'Ivoire. Through his mother's family he is Senufo, but through his father's ancestry he considers himself a Mande griot. He is a multi-talented professional musician, and for the local festivals plays five instruments: the Senufo and…
!Kung Series Collection
Over the course of his career, filmmaker John Marshall shot more than one million feet of film and video (722 hours) of the Ju/'hoansi (!Kung Bushmen) of Namibia's Kalahari Desert. This body of work is unrivalled as a long-term visual study of a single group of people. Contained in Marshall's…
Passing Girl: Riverside - An Essay On Camera Work
At a street festival in West Africa, a young girl is delighted to discover a video camera trained on her. But her exuberant display is quickly cut short when she recognizes that the cameraman has already lost interest in her. But all is well: he has a document of the…