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Catalog # 116
Title Bitter Melons
Series The !Kung San (Ju/'hoan) Series
Filmmaker John Marshall
Year 1971
Subject Music
Format VHS
Region Africa
Description Produced by PBS. 1971. ISBN: ? Summary This film, shot in 1955, focuses on a small band of /Gwi San living in the arid landscape of the central Kalahari Desert in present-day Botswana. The hardships of their everyday survival are woven into the songs of a blind musician, Ukxone, who composes music on a hunting bow. His songs evoke the /Gwi landscape and its diverse wildlife; they depict the routine of their daily lives: gathering food, collecting water, hunting for animals, and sharing as a community. "Bitter Melons," his favorite song, is about a woman who learned from her Bantu neighbors to plant melon seeds despite the agriculturalists protesting that wild melons taste bitter. Song, dance, landscape, and life are not so separated for the /Gwi San; their margins are fluid. Descript 1 videocassette (26 min.) : sd., color ; 1/2 in Series !Kung Cast by John Marshall Subject Namibia, Botswana, music A social occasion