Kastom Kopiraet

An van. Dienderen, Hugo DeBlock, Christina Stuhlberger
Produced by

In preproduction

“Kastom Kopiraet” zooms in on the backstage story of the tribal art trade in and out of Vanuatu, in the Southwest Pacific. The film starts with ritual performances undertaken in a context of contemporary cultural revival and tourism. During the tourism season, when some of the islands are invaded by Western yachties, 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 sincere, honest documentary about these complex issues and their entwinement with the West, in which there is no clearly demarcated ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?