William Paterson University Presents American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival from February 6 through 10

William Paterson University will present the American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Traveling Film and Video Festival from February 6 through 10, 2012 in the David and Lorraine Cheng Library Auditorium on campus in Wayne.

The festival will present works by independent filmmakers that offer unique glimpses into the lives of other people and highlight timely cultural and social themes. William Paterson faculty will introduce each film. Admission is free.

The festival begins on Monday, February 6 at 12:30 p.m. with a screening of In the Garden of Sounds, which focuses on Wolfgang Fasser, a former physical therapist who became blind at age 22 from the genetic disease retinitis pigmentosa. Fasser now works with developmentally disabled children, using music and natural sounds to reach through each child’s particular physical and mental barrier. That evening at 7 p.m., the festival presents Because We Were Born, a Brazilian film about two young boys at a truck stop who live by their wits, picking up odd jobs.

On Tuesday, February 7 at 12:30 p.m., the festival will feature A Mountain Musical, a film about the people in the rural and industrial communities that surround Erzberg, a mountain in the Austrian Alps that has been mined for its iron ore since Roman times. Far from the sanitized image associated with Tyrolean folk singers, these hard-working, hard-drinking people from the heart of Bavaria provide a humorous and more genuine Alpine ethnomusicology.

The role of computers in current society is the topic of Plug & Pray, which will be screened on Wednesday, February 8 at 12:30 p.m. Joseph Weizenbaum, whose work in artificial intelligence led to the technology used in cruise missiles, urges people to reconsider today’s wholehearted embrace of technology before robots become as ubiquitous as iPods.

On Thursday, February 9 at 12:30 p.m., the festival looks at the culture of the Mursi, a nomadic people in Ethiopia, in Shooting with Mursi. Uprooting seasonally in order to graze their cattle and avoid the rainy season, they now find themselves encircled by three national parks, none of which they are allowed to enter. Tourism and recreational hunting threaten their culture with extinction. English-speaking tribal leader Olibui takes a digital camera among his people, capturing a candid portrayal of a people facing unwanted, inevitable change.

The festival concludes on Friday, February 10 at 12:30 p.m. with There Once Was an Island, a film about the Takuu, who live in a Polynesian paradise without electricity or notions of private ownership. The rising South Pacific is eroding their shores, threatening their taro crops and shoreline huts. Resisting government plans for relocation, the Takuu ask for a better solution. New Zealand documentarian Briar March provides a portrait of a people who must choose either to move away or die with their island

This program is sponsored by William Paterson’s David and Lorraine Cheng Library. For additional information, please call the Cheng Library at 973-720-2113.

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01/19/12