How Little We Know of Our Neighbours and A Map With Gaps

Film Screening Sun 12 Nov 2006 4.00PM-6.00PM American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at Colombus
Admission: $9, $8 for all students, senior citizens, and members of the museum
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How Little We Know of Our Neighbours
Rebecca Baron. 2005. 50 min. (U.K.) NY Premiere

This provocative video essay about surveillance explores the British "mass observation" movement, a social science enterprise founded in the late 1930s in England that combined anthropology with surrealism. The film traces the history of the movement, from its inception as a progressive, if naïve, "anthropology of ourselves" to its reincarnation as a civil spy unit during World War II, and its eventual emergence as a market research firm in the 1950s.

Followed by a discussion with director Rebecca Baron.

A Map with Gaps

Alice Nelson. 2006. 26 min. (Scotland) NY Premiere

Using a combination of archive audio recordings, still photographs, drama reconstruction, and animation, this surreal and comic tale is an account of a journey made by the director's father through Soviet Russia in the early 1970s in a van he built and named "Supervan." Truth can indeed be stranger than fiction, and sometimes the gray area between the two is the most interesting place to explore.

These two films are presented as part of The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival. Founded by The American Museum of Natural History in 1977, it is the longest-running showcase for international documentaries in the United States, encompassing a broad spectrum of work, from indigenous community media to experimental nonfiction.