Unity Through Culture

Soanin Kilangit is determined to unite the people and attract international tourism through the revival of culture on Baluan Island on the South Pasific. He organizes the largest cultural festival ever held on the island. But some traditional leaders argue that Baluan never had culture. Culture comes from the white man and is now destroying their old tradition. Others, however, take the festival as a welcome opportunity to revolt against "70 years of cultural oppression" by Christianity. A struggle to define the past, present and future of Baluan culture erupts to the sound of thundering log drum rhythms.

Unity Through Culture (2011)
Running time: 58 min.
Directed by: Christian Suhr & Ton Otto

Christian Suhr

Christian Suhr Nielsen, born in Denmark, is a filmmaker and a PhD student in anthropology at Moesgaard Museum and the University of Aarhus. His studies concern the place of the invisible in anthropological research and filmmaking. Christian is the director of the film Want a Camel, Yes? (2004), about a tourist-cameldriver interface at the pyramids of Giza, Egypt. He is currently working on a new film about large cultural festival, which took place on Baluan Island, Papua New Guinea, in 2006.

Ton Otto

Ton Otto, born in the Netherlands, is professor of Anthropology at the University of Aarhus. He has conducted fieldwork in Papua New Guinea since 1986, most of the time on Baluan in Manus providence with a focus on issues of social and cultural change. From his first fieldwork he has used video as a part of his research and analysis but also as a means of exchance with the local people who value receiving films on their culture. This is his first film intended for a wider public.