Cannibal Tours Essay

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Primitivism doesn’t appear to have one definition like most anthropological terms, but it remains closely to the idea of an unsophisticated, simple way of life. Within the film Cannibal Tours, the filmmaker brings the audience alongside a tour group visiting the native peoples of Papua New Guinea, and we are able to view the two different cultures come together and interact with one another. Tourists have come to seek the exotic “primitive other” and experience the authentic and traditional lifestyle. In the eyes of the tourists, the natives look and act very pre-modern and “uncultured” to what the tourists are used to. Likewise there’s a bit of irony revealed in the film because the natives also feel that the tourists visiting their land are…show more content…
Its importance is evident from the fact that its influence penetrates society, politics, culture and, above all, the economy. Tourism has less to do with what other peoples are like and more to do with how we imagine them to be. Tourism itself comes in all sorts of varieties; sex, colonial, shopping, military, explorer, and cannibal tourism have their roots in Western Capitalist consciousness. They reflect a world in which the affluent, civilized group projects its desires onto another poorer, less developed group. The tourists’ views in the film run from naïve to sophisticated, along with their fascination for cannibalism and spiritual beliefs, and they all engage in photo opportunities and bargains with the natives. The portrayal of modern tourism in Cannibal Tours conjures the popular ethnographic views of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries where “primitive” peoples were put on display for curious Americans and Europeans. Instead of outsiders viewing “savages in cages”, though the local natives in Cannibal Tours are displayed in their own habitats and surroundings. The film director, O’Rourke, thus deconstructs the mythic savage other by depicting the fallen

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