Film by Mike Poltorak, edited by Heidi Hiltebrand, Great Britain 2019, 74', Language: English/Tongan with English subtitles.
In the South Pacific Island group of Vava’u, the traditional healer Emeline Lolohea treats people affected by spirits. One day away by ferry, the only Tongan Psychiatrist Dr Mapa Puloka has established a public psychiatry well known across the region. Though they have never met in person, this film creates a dialogue between them on the nature of mental illness and spiritual affliction. Their discussion offers challenges and opportunities to help address the growing global mental health crisis.
Dr Mike Poltorak is a Medical and Visual Anthropologist. His collaborative philosophy of film making was inspired by two years of using a video camera as an integral part of medical anthropological research on traditional healing and mental illness in the South Pacific island group of Tonga since 1998. The Healer and the Psychiatrist is his fourth ethnographic documentary and has been shown globally at film festivals. It won the Best Feature Film Award at the Society of Visual Anthropology Film Festival.
Heidi Hiltebrand is a filmmaker and editor. Since 1999 she has worked as an editor in film and television. She completed the MA in Film from the ZHdK in 2012.
Mike Poltrak and Heidi Hiltebrand will be present at the event to open a discussion about their work and about the medium film in ethnographic research.
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Do, 11.02.2021, 19–20:30 Uhr