Palm Trees on the Moon

1977, 26:06 min, color, sound

In Palm Trees on the Moon, the second of two tapes made in the Solomon Islands, Viola presents a stream-of-consciousness flow of sound and image as a metaphor for the paradoxes of a culture embedded in tradition and confronting Western influence. Illustrating the cultural transitions are Fred Kona of Vilu village, who has planted palm trees commemorating the three Apollo astronauts who first traveled to the moon, and an inter-island festival, where ceremonial dances are now presented as entertainment. Viola writes: "The structure of the program creates a viewing experience similar to my experience of being there — longer sequences of traditional dance continuously interrupted by cross-cultural images going by too fast, out of sync with the rest — probably a bit confusing for the viewer but a daily reality for the people of the Solomons."

Recorded/Edited: Bill Viola. Post Production Engineers: John J. Godfrey, Tom T. Klemesrud. Editor: Tom T. Klemesrud. Produced in association with the International Television Workshop, New York.


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