Even before Robert Flaherty released Nanook of the North in 1922, anthropologists were producing films about the lifeways of native peoples for a public audience, as well as for research and teaching. Ethnographic Film (1976) was one of the first books to provide a comprehensive introduction to this field of visual anthropology, and it quickly became the standard reference.
In this new edition, Karl G. Heider thoroughly updates Ethnographic Film to reflect developments in the field over the three decades since its publication, focusing on the work of four seminal filmmakers-Jean Rouch, John Marshall, Robert Gardner, and Timothy Asch. He begins with an introduction to ethnographic film and a history of the medium. He then considers many attributes of ethnographic film, including the crucial need to present "whole acts," "whole bodies," "whole interactions," and "whole people" to preserve the integrity of the cultural context. Heider also discusses numerous aspects of making ethnographic films, from ethics and finances to technical considerations such as film versus video and preserving the filmed record. He concludes with a look at using ethnographic film in teaching.
Karl G. Heider is Carolina Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, where he currently serves as Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Preface Acknowledgments 1. Introduction Toward a Definition: The Nature of the Category "Ethnographic Film" The Nature of Ethnography The Differing Natures of Ethnography and Film "Truth" in Film and Ethnography 2. A History of Ethnographic Film Background Factors Prehistory: The Explorers Grass Scripted Fictional Films Bateson and Mead in Bali and New Guinea Jean Rouch John Marshall Robert Gardner Timothy Asch University of California American Indian Series The Netsilik Eskimo Project Australia The Natives' View Institutionalization of Ethnographic Film 3. The Attributes of Ethnographic Film The Attributes Additional Principles The Attributes as Dimensions 4. Making Ethnographic Film The Ethics of Ethnographic Filmmaking An Ethnographic Film Must Be Based on Ethnographic Understanding An Ethnographic Film Must Exploit the Visual Potential of Film Whole Bodies, Whole Interactions, and Whole People in Whole Acts Division of Labor The Meaning of Real Collaboration An Ethnographic Film Cannot Stand by Itself Ethnographic Films from Research Footage Preservation of the Film Record 5. The Use of Ethnographic Films in Teaching Films and Background Reading Strategies Appendix: A Brief Descriptive Catalog of Films Bibliography Index