Into the field by Alyssa Grossman, 2005 (28 min)

This film examines the everyday secular lives of nuns residing in the Romanian Orthodox monastery of Varatec. By visually exploring the social aesthetics of the monastery, the film depicts certain aspects of the nuns’ everyday, lived experience. Instead of exclusively focusing on the spiritual qualities of monastery existence, it documents the secular aspects of the nuns’ relationships, activities and routines, and offers a glimpse into the concrete ways in which they negotiate their identities within the separate yet connected spaces of home and church.
The film also incorporates brief sequences of stop-motion animation, demonstrating some of the trials and tribulations that anthropologists sometimes encounter during filming and fieldwork. Intended as a reflexive meta-commentary, these passages point to some of the unpredictable and often uncontrollable processes of ethnographic investigation.

Hillside Beauties by Julia Kurc, 2008 (30 min)

In a violent, marginalized and discriminated environment such as the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, women create a time and a space to construct their identities and beauties. The film introduces us to Marcella, Thuany and Nagila, three young girls who deal with the difficulties of their social reality in a particular and beautiful way. The film depicts how the girls negotiate their bodily appearances in relation to individual aims as well as moral and aesthetic expectations, in an ambiguous everyday settings that embodies threats of shoot-outs at the same time as if offers refuge.

For all films in the series.