This film explores the difference (and the surprising similarities) that emerge when "civilized" and "primitive" people meet at the furthermost reaches of the Sepik River of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific.
When tourists journey to the furthermost reaches of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, is it the indigenous tribespeople or the white visitors who are the cultural oddity? This film expolores the difference (and the surprising similarities) that emerge when "civilized" and "primitive" people meet. With dry humor and acute observation Cannibal Tours explodes cultural assumptions as it provides a pointed look at a fabulous phenomenon.
Cannibal Tours reveals its charm little by little. The two tribes eloquently tell their own stories, and imagery becomes increasingly important: bikinis among the crocodiles, a Pepsi-Cola T-shirt among the shuffling tribal dancers. And throughout there is comedy -- a tribal elder recalls: "When the first Europeans arrived, the people cried out, 'Our dead ancestors have returned!' So now when we see tourists we say about them, 'The dead have come back!'?We don't seriously believe it, but we do say it."
Other credits: Photography: Dennis O`Rourke Film Editing: Tim Litchfield Associate Producers: Laurence J. Henderson & Chris Owen Music: W.A. Mozart Producer/Director: Dennis O`Rourke Produced in association with The Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies Produced in association with Channel 4