Noura Badr EL Din
Dr. John Schaefer
15 March 2012
Letter to the Dead
Eytan Kapon and Andre Iteanu are ethnologists who have always been interested in the exceptional people of Papua New Guinea. They shed light on the people of Jajau in their movie "Letter to the Dead" which was filmed in December 1999 and January 2000. This was due to the rumors that were widespread at the time that included the return of the dead and of Christ on the eve of the new millennium. The film aims to encourage reflection on the relationship between the West and the third world countries and how the people of Jajau view Whitemen. Moreover, the movie ...view middle of the document...
There seems to be three main characters in the movie; David, Justin and Norman. They all have differences and similarities and each has gone through a different phase in their lives.
Andre and Eytan were the guests of David. David is a man who kept himself out of the religious debates, he didn’t go to church and he built his own platform. He thinks that the reason behind the peoples beliefs about the returning of the dead is directly related to the multiplication of churches. David states that Whiteman have threatened his parents in the past to get rid of their customs or they’ll be killed. He believed pondos was a very important ritual that gave a sense of union which doesn’t exist anymore. People thought Andre was David’s ancestor who came back from the dead and they thought that the rest of their ancestors will follow him. They thought so because Andre was white, also because he gives David money and he disappears for long periods of time. The people wrote letters to their parents and handed them to Andre believing he will deliver them to the dead when he returns. They thought that their ancestors should share Paradise’s wealth with them. David, unlike the rest of the village, wanted to keep his dark skin and not be white by the arrival of 2000.
Justin and his wife Nelly are citizens of Papua New Guinea who belonged to the Anglican church. Later they left...