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Sunday, November 13 • 2:30pm - 3:45pm
A Wife Among Wives

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David MacDougall and Judith MacDougall
1982 | 72 min | Australia, Kenya

Husband-and-wife anthropologist team David and Judith MacDougall spent 14 months in the early 1970s living alongside the Turkana, semi-nomadic camel herders in Kenya. Their stay resulted in the Turkana Conversations Trilogy, three classics of ethnographic filmmaking. The last in the series, A Wife among Wives, was edited in 1981 and focuses on the women in the tribe and their views on polygyny, the practice of men taking more than one wife. While the women talk openly about their lives, the filmmakers track down the rumors that another wedding is about to take place. By preserving traces of their original encounters in the final film, the MacDougalls reveal as much about their own perceptions of the Turkana as they do of the Turkana themselves. The MacDougalls were among the first to subtitle tribal languages, allowing the indigenous peoples to speak for themselves and the audience to identify more closely with them. The Margaret Mead Film Festival has presented the couples’ work numerous times over the years, including a retrospective in 1980.


Sunday November 13, 2011 2:30pm - 3:45pm
People Center Theater American Museum of Natural History

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