• Expedition Content

Expedition Content

a film by Ernst Karel & Veronika Kusumaryati
2020, 78 minutes



An immersive marvel of sonic ethnography, Expedition Content draws on audio recordings made by recent college graduate and Standard Oil heir Michael Rockefeller as part of the 1961 Harvard-Peabody Expedition to Netherlands New Guinea that set up tents among the indigenous Hubula (also known as Dani) people.

In their nearly imageless film, Karel and Kusumaryati document the strange encounter between the expedition and the Hubula people. The work explores and upends the power dynamics between anthropologist and subject, between image and sound, and turns the whole ethnographic project on its head.


Critic's Pick! "Startling and fascinating... builds to a shattering climax." -Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"Advances the possibility of a purely sonic cinema."
-Leo Goldsmith, The Brooklyn Rail

"A sonic journey... that interrogates how images are produced and who produces them." -Slant Magazine

"What Expedition Content does so adeptly is to make audible and legible those voices that have been silenced through omission."
-Stephanie Spray, Non-Fiction Journal

Press Materials

High Res Stills & Press Kit
Press Release

Where to watch

In Theaters

Buy at CG store


Jan 7: Anthology Film Archives - New York, NY
Jan 14: Lumiere Cinema/Acropolis Cinema - Los Angeles, CA
Jan 27: Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center - Durham, NC

Feb 1: Campus Theatre, Bucknell University - Lewisburg, PA

Mar 18: National Gallery of Art - Washington, DC

April 8 & 10: Harpur Cinema Series - Binghamton, NY
April 15-24: Harvard Film Archive - Cambridge, MA

May 13 & 15: Anthology Film Archives - New York, NY

Jan 20-25: Grand Illusion Cinema - Seattle, WA

Mar 8: BAMPFA - Berkeley, CA

Festivals & Awards

Official Selection - Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection - Art of the Real
Loridan-Ivens/CNAP Award, Special Mention - Cinéma du Réel


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