Director: Dennis O’Rourke
- 1988 Sundance Film Festival
Cannibal Tours is two journeys. The first is that depicted—rich and bourgeous tourists, on a luxury cruise up the mysterious Sepik River, in the jungles of Papua New Guinea . . . the packaged version of a “heart of darkness.” The second journey (the real text of the film) is a metaphysical one. It is an attempt to discover the place of “the Other” in the popular imagination. It affords a glimpse at the real (mostly unconsidered or misunderstood) reasons why “civilized” people wish to encounter the “primitive.”
The situation is that shifting terminus of civilization, where modern mass-culture grates and pushes against those original, essential aspects of humanity, and where much of what passes for “values” in western culture, is exposed in stark relief, as banal and fake.