We never tell everything, we always keep something for the next anthropologist.

Kobarweng reconstructs the first encounter between a remote village set in the highlands of the island of New Guinea and the outside world. Mainly told through a native narrative, it reclaims the memory of a colonial past. Switching the roles of observer and observed, it is anthropology—and specifically the desire underlying anthropological representation, that is depicted as an object of curiosity destabilized by the villager's questions.

Point of departure was Kaiang Tapior's question "Where is your helicopter?", a remark which puzzled the filmmaker during his visit to the village of Pepera. The question reflected an event which took place in June of 1959, when a crew of scientists, which included anthropologists, dropped down from the sky in helicopters—much to the terrified surprise of the villagers who watched in awe at these things out of the sky, the likes of which they had never seen before...

The sudden arrival of helicopters announced a crucial juncture in the history of the village which 'Kobarweng' critically restages through an examination and juxtaposition of archival anthropological footage and the villager's testimonies.