SXSW Film Review: Ghostland

Members of an African tribe travel to the West

“What a crazy world this is.” It predictably becomes a common refrain, said at almost every turn by the traveling Ju/'Hoansi Bushmen of Namibia – four of whom make the fantastic voyage into Europe, away from “the bush.”

Unsurprisingly, Western trappings, the noise, and a perceived misunderstanding the white man maintains concerning relative free will, all beguile and perplex the foursome. Conversely, they become keenly aware of what the new reality is for them, if even becoming specified in the course. To survive as a people, they understand they must break out the practiced choreography, do the same old song and dance for white tourists. Director Simon Stadler tries his best at boxing in a naturally exploitative circumstance, into something balanced. However, he doesn’t help himself at the conclusion, where the returning Bushmen and women aren’t afforded any deep reflection of their travels, on film. Perhaps that’s a part of the message – that the Bushmen’s 25,000-year-old age of intrasocietal agency has long ceased, their futures fallen into hands that are not their own.


Ghostland

SXGlobal
Sunday, March 13, 11:30am, Alamo South Lamar
Wednesday, March 16, 1:45pm, Alamo Ritz

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Sound on Sound Review: Car Seat Headrest
Sound on Sound Review: Car Seat Headrest
Slacker Pavement hooks meet James Murphy’s drollness

Doug Freeman, Nov. 6, 2016

ACL Review: Anderson Paak
ACL Review: Anderson Paak
Hip-hop/R&B fusionist takes an ATX victory lap

Alejandra Ramirez, Oct. 9, 2016

More by Kahron Spearman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 16, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 2, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

SXSW 2016, SXSW Film 2016, Ghostland

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle