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Nera Jambruk is the big man in his village in the East Sepik province of Papua New Guinea. He is the head of a group of men who build and paint the Houses of Spirits in the area. The film shows him and his men as they work day and night inside the house, painting a huge triangular bark, which they then hoist up into place on the front of the sculpture. The painting, which has powerful magical powers and meaning, is made up of a series of abstract faces surrounded by triangular designs and smaller representations of flowers and animals. During the course of the work, Nera explains the role of the painting in the villagers’ lives. As viewers are drawn into the dynamic of the group and the elegance of the painting, they will forget, as it seems the artists did, that the filmmaker is even there.
In Madagascar: Efiaimbelo and Jacques Jean Debord. In New Guinea: Nera Jambruku, Gesan Jambruku, Sakolias Nausak, Klaul Tajimbu, Pilip Nikulak and Paulus Kobulam. A film by Philip Haas. Executive Producer: Fernando Trueba. Produced by Fernando Trueba, P.C. S.A.; Methodact, Ltd.; and the Centre Georges Pompidou. Edited by Belinda Cowdy. Music by David Byrne. Narration by Philip Haas. Cinematography by Juan Molina (Madagascar) and Chris Owen (Papua New Guinea). Sound by Eric Devulder (Madagascar) and Lahui Geita (Papua New Guinea).Show more Show less