The Mursi tribe resides in the east African state of Ethiopia. Mursi women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings, which has become a subject of tourist attraction in recent years.

Each year, hundreds of Western tourists come to see the unusually adorned natives; posing for camera-toting visitors has become the main source of income for the Mursi. To make more money, they embellish their “costumes” and finery to appear more exotic to the outsiders.

Framing the Other portrays the complex relationship between tourism and indigenous communities by revealing the intimate and intriguing thoughts of a Mursi woman from Southern Ethiopia and a Dutch tourist as they prepare to meet each other. This humorous, yet simultaneously chilling film shows the destructive impact tourism has on traditional communities.

The film was screened at over one hundred film festivals worldwide and has received multiple awards. It is currently still being used at schools and universities within an educational package developed by Copper Views.

The film can still be watched on this website.


25 minutes

My role

Director, screenwriter, researcher &



Film locations

Ethiopia & the Netherlands


Year of production

2010 - 2011


More info on

“A welcome addition to anthropology classrooms, as it provides plenty of fodder for students in debating the importance of dismantling the 'Other' and the perceived dangers of 'dressing up' culture.” 


- Shauna LaTosky, American Anthropologist Journal


In 2013 I travelled to the Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York. The film was screened alongside David O'Rourke's Cannibal Tours (1988), a film that was an enormous source of inspiration for Framing the Other. After the screening I was interviewed about how the idea for the film was born, about the making process and about my idealistic views on how the film should make a positive impact. This audio interview can be heard here.

In addition, academic paper American Anthropologist wrote an extensive article on the importance of the film in academic spheres. The article can be read here.

© 2022 Willem Timmers