Save the date: The Margaret Mead Film Festival celebrates its 41st anniversary next month with another blockbuster schedule of global films, filmmakers, artists and anthropologists all focused on our cultural similarities.
The festival, at AMNH, honors the legacy of anthropologist Margaret Mead, whose groundbreaking approach revealed how our own histories, values, and points of view frame our encounters with other cultures and communities.
The Margaret Mead Film Festival 2017 is Thursday, Oct. 19 to Sunday, Oct. 22. Get tickets now from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) with no surcharge.
It’s a four-day festival of film screenings, conversations, parties, and the Mead Mixed Media Lounge where filmmakers, scholars, and t audience members exchange ideas.
Among the festival’s wide selection of world, U.S., and New York premieres this year are:
Lunar Tribute directed by Robert Lewis
In April 1972, astronaut Charlie Duke became the tenth (and youngest) person to walk on the moon. Duke describes the anticipation, sights, and sounds of his voyage in vivid detail—from seeing Earth from space to life in zero gravity. Interviews are intercut with captivating footage of drummer Jojo Mayer, echoing the thrill of travel through the cosmos. This screening will be accompanied by a conversation with Duke, filmmaker Robert Lewis, and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Brexitannia, directed by Timothy George Kelly
Following the referendum that saw the UK vote to leave the EU by a small margin, filmmaker Timothy George Kelly travels up and down the British Isles to meet with people on both sides of the ballot. Supplemented by thoughtful observations that take into account complexities of race, labor, and the environment, an uncomfortable image of Britain today emerges.
Lust for Sight (La fureur de voir), directed by Manuel von Stürler
Manuel von Stürler is a Swiss filmmaker with macular degeneration whose 2012 documentary Winter Nomads earned him critical acclaim and dozens of festival prizes. But in the subsequent years, his vision has gradually faded and the terrifying reality of encroaching blindness has set in. Now, von Stürler turns the camera on himself and grapples with the loss of his most essential sense—and filmmaking as he knows it.
Brimstone and Glory, directed by Viktor Jakovleski
Opening night film
New York Premiere
Through stunning cinematography, director Viktor Jakovleski takes us inside preparations for the annual pyrotechnic festival in Tultepec, Mexico. The job of making each exhibit bigger and better than before falls to local families who have been doing it for generations—often by trial and error. While the men strive for greater and greater glory, danger is never far away.
Pre-Crime, directed by Matthias Heeder and Monika Hielscher
New York Premiere
Science fiction has become a reality in our modern criminal justice system. A term originally coined by science fiction author Philip K. Dick, “pre-crime” is a policing technique now used in both the U.S. and Europe to identify “hot people”—those most likely to be victims or perpetrators of a crime. Forecasting software and algorithms that have been criticized as inaccurate and arbitrary are used to collect information and to monitor and flag people. But predictive tools are only as good as the data they’re fed. With scant evidence of the reliability of the data sources or the accuracy of the data crunching, misfires are a guarantee. In this chilling and explosive in-depth examination into the modern age of policing, directors Monika Hielscher and Matthias Heeder pose an important question: How much freedom and human awareness are we willing to cede to the limited logic of technology?
Tickets are $15 opening- and closing-night screenings ($12 for Members, seniors, and students); $12 all other screenings ($10 for Members, seniors, and students), the same price as last year.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212-769-5200, online at amnh.org/mead, or at any of the American Museum of Natural History admission desks.
The Margaret Mead Film Festival is proudly produced by the American Museum of Natural History.
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