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Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: Documentaries
Exploring the work of Margaret Mead, this film investigates the 12 months Mead spent with the Samoans in the Twenties. Her resulting book, Coming Of Age In Samoa, had a huge impact on Western culture.
Mead believed cultures like the Samoans could teach people how to live in harmony. Her book depicts a society of free love -- devoid of jealousy and teenage turmoil. But, decades later, her work was criticised as being tainted by her romantic views and strong belief in liberal values.
Tales From The Jungle examines whether Mead's study was merely misinterpretation and romantic wishful thinking.
Very Good teaching material on the internet, especially good documentaries. Here are all six parts of the BBC4 Documentary, “Tales From The Jungle: Malinowski.” A tidy little piece lasting roughly one hour, it covers the importance of Bronislaw Malinowski, ranging from his methods (participant observation) to his investigations on Baloma and Kula exchange. His diaries range throughout the story, coloring his accomplishments and adding nuance.
The video was criticized on technical grounds (and perhaps, but vaguely, on more substantive matters) over at Savage Minds, and the comments there are worth a gander
Nanook of the North (also known as Nanook of the North: A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic) is a 1922 American silent documentary film by Robert J. Flaherty, with elements of docudrama, at a time when the concept of separating films into documentary and drama did not yet exist.
In the tradition of what would later be called salvage ethnography, Flaherty captured the struggles of the Inuk man named Nanook and his family in the Canadian Arctic. The film has been incorrectly considered the first feature-length documentary. Some have criticized Flaherty for staging several sequences, but the film is generally viewed as standing "alone in its stark regard for the courage and ingenuity of its heroes.