After having been selected for the Festival du Film de Voyage et d’Aventures Vecues and the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival and being commended for the Richard Werbner Award for Visual Anthropology, Dana Rappoport’s documentary film Death of the One Who Knows has now been selected for the Riga Pasaules Film Festival.
In the Toraja highlands of Sulawesi (Indonesia), Lumbaa is one of the last masters of ritual speech. After his forced conversion to Pentecostalism, he is compelled to stop all his ritual activity and oratory. Concerned by the disappearance of “those who know”, a young Catholic priest named Yans Sulo sets out in search of the society’s ancient oral genres, seeking to invent new forms that would keep them alive. The two men meet, but it is too late. By recounting the life and death of Lumbaa, the film shows how the intrusion of a world religion disrupts a Southeast Asian society.
The trailer of the film can be watched here.