An immersive marvel of sonic ethnography, EXPEDITION CONTENT draws on audio recordings made by recent college graduate and Standard Oil heir Michael Rockefeller as part of the 1961 Harvard-Peabody Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea that set up tents among the indigenous Hubula (also known as Dani) people.
In their nearly imageless film, Karel and Kusumaryati document the strange encounter between the expedition and the Hubula people. The work explores and upends the power dynamics between anthropologist and subject, between image and sound, and turns the whole ethnographic project on its head. Named one of the ten best movies of 2022 by The New York Times.
CRITIC’S PICK! “Startling and fascinating… a mind-expanding inquiry on anthropology — how it speaks and for whom — and on cinema itself.” Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“What Expedition Content does so adeptly is to make audible and legible those voices that have been silenced through omission.” Stephanie Spray, Non-Fiction Journal
“Advances the possibility of a purely sonic cinema.” Leo Goldsmith, The Brooklyn Rail