Aside from blog posts on this website that track the research insights emergent of screenings of the film we also have submitted the documentary for review to anthropology and somatic practice journals.
In Summer 2016 CQ Newsletter published Mike’s personal review of the documentary. Given how important CQ Quarterly has been to the communication and development of the form we were very happy to share our film in the newsletter.
We were very touched by Deborah Vidali’s review in one of the key journals in anthropology, American Anthropologist.
Vidali, Deborah. 2017. Film Review in Multimodal Anthropologies in American Anthropologist- September 2017.
If you would like to read the full review before editing for that journal it is available here. We thank Deborah for generously allowing us to publish it.
Here is the opening paragraph of the published review:
‘Five Ways In is a beautiful film. Gentle , lyrical, surprising , and loving. Starting with the sounds of soft laughter, voices of many textures and resonances, we see the movements that define the practice of contact improvisation and the eager, open faces, smiles, and applause of welcome from the three hundred participants gathered for the 2013 Contact Improvisation Festival in Freiburg, Germany. Our lifespan in the film begins on day 1, at the festival’s beginning, and ends on day 5, at the festival’s closing ritual. Our exit is just as loving and welcoming as our entrance. As we leave the festival, the camera moves through two rows of hands that are reaching out to touch and caress, hold dear, and support each being that passes through. If only we can be open to receive. To feel.’
‘For some viewers, these features of the CI culture in Germany will be relevant for broader conversations about mysticism, ritual, and religion. Others might pursue the connections to social movements and other forms of alter- native world creation. The CI practices and the temporary CI community present a fundamental challenge to Western forms of normativity. The film hints at the liberatory power of what is taught, learned, explored, and created at this festival. It leaves unstated what is lost by mainstream culture’s sensory deprivation, overcontrol of the senses, barely conscious embodiment, and limited intersubjective acknowledgment. As an inquiry into CI subculture, Five Ways In is also an inquiry into “body intelligence” and the ways of knowing that are possible in and through film. To quote one participant’s remarks about the CI experience, there is “nothing tangible that stays, only vibration in the heart.” The film beautifully creates this vibration. A realm of being—and knowledge—much wider than any individual journey.’
(If you do not have access to American Anthropologist please email the co-director at email@example.com for a copy or read the full review here).
This journal reviewed Cynthia Novack’s 1990 ethnography of contact improvisation, ‘Sharing the Dance’.