NIGER-NORGE (1975, 41 min) 

A comparison of women’s life in Niger and Norway. Film footage and photos taken in the beginning of the 1970s in the village of Maïné-Soroa, in Eastern Niger, are juxtaposed with audio-visual material from Tromsø in Northern Norway. Using a simple, didactic voice-over, the film questions many stereotypes about women’s life in Africa and Norway. It is an attempt to use audio-visual tools and fieldwork experience to teach cross-cultural understanding and ethnocentrism in Norway.

Watch here with English / French / Norwegian subtitles.

Watch the interview with Lisbet Holtedahl about “Niger-Norway” conducted by her students.


Shot in 1986, the film presents scenes from the everyday life of a Mbororo pastorialist family living on the outskirts of Garoua, by then, the biggest town in Northern Cameroon. It documents the gradual sedentarisation and Islamisation of the Mbororo and presents rituals, chants, dances, healing practices as well as the transmission of traditional knowledge about medical plants and local religious beliefs.

Watch here with English / French / Norwegian subtitles.



A film about women’s life in the fishing village of Ersfjordbotn in northern Norway. Filmed in the middle of 1980’s, when the the regions of Northern Norway were undergoing rapid social change, the film presents several personal life stories of elderly and younger women, problematizing the social marginalization of local women.

Watch here with English / French / Norwegian subtitles.



The film is about Al Hajji Malam Schaaway – Quran teacher and court member at the Sultanate of Adamaoua – and his four wives. The camera follows everyday life inside a polygamous household and, also, Al Hajji in his daily work as a religious teacher.

Watch here with EnglishFrench subtitles.


THE SULTAN’S BURDEN (1993, 49 min)

Sultan Issa Maigari of the Adamaoua Province, Northern Cameroon, is a traditional political and religious leader struggling to keep power and respect of the local population in times of violent socio-political transformations in his country. How is he to keep the confidence of his court and the local population and at once satisfy the President and the central authorities? His servants, his praise-singers, his wives, his concubines are all trying out solutions for him, but not necessarily successful ones.

Watch here with English / French subtitles.



This is a film about the intimate relationship that professional musicians have with the music they perform. Every year, leading classical musicians from Norway and the whole world gather at Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival (LINK). Recorded during the 2013 edition, the film shows concerts, rehearsals and glimpses from behind the scenes.

Watch here with English / French / Norwegian subtitles.


WIVES (2018, 85 min)

Alhajji Ibrahim is an Islamic scholar. For 46 years, he served as judge at the Sultanate of Ngaoundéré in Northern Cameroon. The film follows Alhajji during the last years of his life, focusing on the relationships in a polygamous family, seen from the perspective of the wives and their husband. Shot in the years 1997-2001 and edited over 15 years later, the film presents a way of life that is typical of the societies and cultures of Borno and Adamaoua provinces (Nigeria and Cameroon) where people living far away from the capital, struggle to adapt to modern education, strong marginalization and increasing poverty. In recent years, the region has been under constant threat of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Watch here with English / French / Norwegian subtitles.

A review of Wives in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

THE CHÂTEAU (2018, 113 min)

A portrait of one of the richest Cameroonian industrialists Al Hajji Mohamadou Ousmanou Abbo. Filmed over a period of more than ten years. The red thread of the story is the construction of Al Hajji’s spectacular palace on the outskirts of his native town, Ngaoundéré in Northern Cameroon. The camera follows Al Hajji on various arenas in France, Italy and Cameroon. We learn about his relationships and negotiations with the local population, European artisans who work on the construction of his palace, his business partners in the country and abroad, as well as local, regional and national authorities and politicians. Al Hajji’s impact on local economy, politics and society at large generates mixed feelings among those around him. The film tries to contextualise his life choices and show the various layers and conflicting forces with which he has to deal in everyday life. Progressively, the viewer discovers that the rich man from the poor country triggers new insights about you and me, about poor and rich countries alike.

Watch here with English / French subtitles.

In order to obtain the password please contact Lisbet Holtedahl.

Watch the interview with Lisbet Holtedahl after screening of “The Chateau” at the Days of Ethnographic Film in Lubljana.


Filmed in 8mm, during the Ramadan of 1984 in Ngaoundéré, Northern Cameroon, the film relates the everyday life of a Fulani woman, Zeinabou. Scenes filmed in a joyful and relaxed atmosphere present domestic activities and interaction between the main protagonist and her husband, children and neighbors as they await the Ramadan feast.

Watch here with English / French / Norwegian subtitles.


MEMOIRS OF A MBORORO (in preparation, 30 min)

This short film will present the collaboration between the pastoral nomadic Mbororo, Maloum Oumarou Nduudi and a French Catholic missionary Henri Bocquené that led to the publication of one of the first accounts of the Mbororo way of life by the indegenious person. The book “Moi un Mbororo” was published in 1986 in Paris getting warm reviews among others from Claude Lévi-Strauss. It was subsequently translated into English by Philip Burnham as “Memoires of the Mbororo”.

Watch here with English / French subtitles.

List of film screenings and awards.