Kastom Kopiraet

An van. Dienderen, Hugo DeBlock, Christina Stuhlberger
Produced by
Supported by
KASK & Conservatorium School of Arts Ghent, VAF (Flemish Audiovisual Fund), Museum Dr. Guislain Ghent, Beursschouwburg and argos center for arts and media Brussels.

In preproduction

“Kastom Kopiraet” documents the fantastic journey of a tribal art object from the Louvre in Paris to his home country Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Real-life encounters are framed by a fictional road trip to explore notions of exoticism and desires for authenticity in a globalized world. By doing so the film zooms in on the backstage story of the tribal art trade in and out of Vanuatu. The film starts with a ritual performance undertaken in a context of contemporary cultural revival and tourism. During the tourism season, when the islands are visited by yachties and other tourists, we meet Johnson, a former police officer for the Gendarmerie Francaise during colonial days. He is the protagonist in the documentary film ‘Ambrym, l’île noire’ (1998), in which he presented himself as exotic ´native´. “Kastom Kopiraet” deals with the (de)construction of ‘authenticity’ in such exotic movies and follows the traces of copyright claims by islanders for the objects stolen from them a long time ago. Can we as filmmakers make a documentary about these complex issues and their entwinement with the West, in which there is no clearly demarcated ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?