Östör’s Visit, Film Appreciated by Third Graders in New York

Pictured, Ákos Östör, professor of anthropology, professor of film studies, emeritus, and his wife, Lina Fruzzetti, professor of anthropology at Brown University, recently screened their documentary film, Seed and Earth (1995), to their granddaughter’s third-grade class at Parsons Memorial School in Harrison, N.Y. More than 60 students sent Östör and Fruzzetti thank you cards following their visit.

Seed and Earth is a film about everyday life in rural West Bengal, India. It follows the daily schedule of the families of two brothers who live side by side and cooperate in many daily activities. Several students, like Connie, provided sketches from the film in their thank you cards.

A student named Giulia enjoyed learning about how women in West Bengal cook.

Following the 90-minute film, the students asked Östör and Fruzzetti a barrage of questions after the film such as: How is rice cooked? Do girls go to school? What is the ‘dot’ on Indian womens’ foreheads? How do families live with animals? And how do you put on a sari? The students commented on aspects of the film in their thank you notes.

Östör was impressed by the third-graders’ response to the film. He is considering showing the film to other elementary schools in Middletown. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

More information on Seed and Earth is online here. In addition to the screening, Östör and Fruzzetti, also shared their films at the International Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec in Montreal; the Worldfilm 2009 Tartu Festival of Visual Culture  in Estonia, and this month, they will show their films at the Gottingen International Ethnographic Film Festival in Germany.