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Expedition Content

January 14 - January 20, 2022

Expedition Content

(Dir. Ernst Karel and Veronika Kusumaryati, 2020)

Exclusive Los Angeles theatrical engagement!


2:00 PM & 7:00 PM daily


2:30 PM & 7:30 PM daily


Lumiere Music Hall
9036 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

An immersive marvel of sonic ethnography, Expedition Content—the latest film produced by Harvard's famed Sensory Ethnography Lab (Leviathan, Manakamana)—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, Ernst Karel and Veronika 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.

Screening with: Single Stream (dir. Pawel Wojtasik, Toby Kim Lee, and Ernst Karel, 2014; 23 min.)

TRT: 101 min.

Advances the possibility of a purely sonic cinema.

- Leo Goldsmith, The Brooklyn Rail

A sonic journey that interrogates how images are produced and who produces them.

- Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

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

[In  revisiting this story], Karel and Kusumaryati touch on an issue of  immense scope: the relationships that forge ideologies, representations  and the destiny of entire peoples.

- Olivia Cooper-Hadjian, Cinema du réel

Raises  questions about colonial ethnographic research and also experiments  with a proposal in which the narrative arises from the experience of the  explorers in the place and that of the viewer sitting in the movie  theater.

- Ivonne Sheen, desistfilm

(Available to download after screening date)

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