Film Studies Program

Mandove Showings

ManDove, a feature-length documentary about the ancient and mysterious brotherhood of singing dove competitions in Indonesia, is the work of filmmakers Jim de Sève (Union College Filmmaker-in-Residence) and Kian Tjong.

Mandove poster

Ancient Javanese wisdom prescribes five things a Javanese man should pursue for a complete life: garwo (wife), curigo (Javanese keris dagger, weapon),wismo (house, residence), turonggo (horse, transportation) and kukilo (bird, hobby). The last requirement can only be fulfilled by owning perkutut. Leagues of Javanese men hoist zebra doves 23 feet high for competition. ManDove gives cinematic space for the audience to consider birds, Islam, gender and the circularity of the modern camera.

“ManDove is a fascinating documentary about the symbiotic relationship between men and their prized perkutut birds in Java, which can be viewed and appreciated on multiple levels. It is both serious in approach and refreshingly light-hearted in execution, along the way offering revealing insights into Indonesian daily life, cultural and religious values, and social structure and relationships. Because it is without an interpretive narrative, other than that provided by the people who are filmed, ManDove would be an excellent teaching resource for generating discussion and stimulating inductive reasoning.” – Terry Bigalke, Director of Education, East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

“ManDove is amazing. I loved everything about the film – [the] approach to the entire project was refreshing, inspiring, oblique. So glad I got to see it” – Micah Silver, Music Curator, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY.

Mandove has been exhibited across the United States and the globe. Here is a list of upcoming and past screening venues:

Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Teheran, Dec 10-17, 2013

China Animal and Nature Film Festival, Beijing, Fall 2013

Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival, Taipei, Oct 7, 2013

Waseda University, Tokyo, Oct 2, 2013

Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Oct 2013

Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka, Oct 2013

RAI (Royal Anthropological Institute) Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland June 2013

International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), Macau SAR, June 2013

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, June 2013

Asian Study Conference of Japan (ASCJ), Tokyo, June 2013

FIFEQ (Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec), Quebec City, March 2013

Association of Asian Studies Conference (AAS), San Diego, March 2013

San Diego State University, San Diego, March 2013

Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow International Festival of Visual Anthropology, Oct 2012

Taiwan International Documentary Festival, Oct 2012

Kazan [Republic of Tatarstan] Festival of Muslim Cinema, Oct 2012

Yale University, Council on Southeast Asia Studies, 2012

Colgate University, 2012

Flaherty Film Seminar NYC, 2012

Experimental Performance Art Center (EMPAC), 2012

University of Hawaii at Manoa / East West Center, 2012