The Sciences

Ikland--A New Film By Cevin Soling & David Hilbert

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJun 6, 2011 4:16 PM


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While I was at MIT and living in Cambridge, MA, I met many talented and fascinating people, among them filmmaker and musician Cevin Soling (perhaps most famous for Boris the Dog and The War on Kids) and filmmaker and movie editor David Hilbert. Now, they've collaborated on a great new film that you should know about. It's called Ikland, and subtitled, "A Film About the Worst People in the World." That's ironic: The Ik are a tribe in northern Uganda who were famously described in anthropologist Colin Turnbull's 1972 influential book

The Mountain People.

Only, Soling argues that in his negative depiction of the Ik, Turnbull got it very wrong. So Soling and his crew venture into Uganda--a very dangerous trip--to try to meet the tribe that Turnbull criticized--and the result is this film. Here's the trailer: I particularly like the unusual filmic style, which you can see in the trailer--black background with many scenes unfolding in multiple windows. It adds a very cool and different quality--if I only hadn't quit film studies back in college I could probably say something more profound about it. Bottom line is, check out Ikland. In the end, the film might be best described as a unique attempt to repeat a famous scientific experiment (Turnbull's)--one that, in the testing, comes up with a very different outcome.

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