Six films at Whitechapel Gallery show endangered world culture

A little girl asks a cattle herder for a cow’s mouth for a religious sacrifice... scene from one of

A little girl asks a cattle herder for a cows mouth for a religious sacrifice... scene from one of six world films being shown at Whitechapel Gallery - Credit: Whitechapel Gallery

A little girl asks a cattle herder in a mountain village for a cow’s mouth to make a religious sacrifice.

It is scene is from Jajouka, Something Good Comes to You (2012), one of six world films now showing at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Eric and Marc Hurtado’s work weaves together documentary and fiction to explore the ancient rituals of native musicians from Jajouka, a village in Morocco’s Rif Mountains, telling the legend of a man sacrificing his hard-working cow in a show of faith which is repaid generously by God.

The inhabitants of Jajouka have enacted magical rituals for 2,000 years and played a unique music by a brotherhood of musicians .

The daily screening of all six works is part of Artists’ Film International, a touring programme of film, video and animation selected by arts organisations around the world, looking at geopolitical concerns and changing cultural histories.

In The Downfall of Light (2011), artist Murray Hewitt reflects on the culture and politics associated with the sacred site of Te Urewera National Park in New Zealand.

The animated We Are All in the Same Boat (2012), by Bengü Karaduman, describes large-scale production and consumption with an imaginary industrial boat representing the damage politico-economic systems inflict on the planet.

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Gaining and Losing (2012), by Rahraw Omarzad, considers the destruction of archaeological artefacts at the Kabul National Museum over the last decade and the process of rebuilding Afghanistan’s cultural infrastructure.

The City & The City (2010) by Hong-An Truong links Tokyo with Saigon, while Plus-Minus-Zero (2010) by Morgan Wong links Hong Kong with Sapporo, both films reflecting socio-political change, urbanism and time.

The season opened on Thursday at the Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, and runs till January 12, admission free. Opening times: Tues-Sun 11am–6pm, Thurs 11am–9pm. Whitechapel Gallery.