Roger Sandall s Films and Contemporary Anthropology
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In Roger Sandall's Films and Contemporary Anthropology, Lorraine Mortimer argues that while social anthropology and documentary film share historic roots and goals, particularly on the continent of Australia, their trajectories have tended to remain separate. This book reunites film and anthropology through the works of Roger Sandall, a New Zealand–born filmmaker and Columbia University graduate, who was part of the vibrant avant-garde and social documentary film culture in New York in the 1960s. Mentored by Margaret Mead in anthropology and Cecile Starr in fine arts, Sandall was eventually hired as the one-man film unit at the newly formed Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in 1965. In the 1970s, he became a lecturer in anthropology at the University of Sydney. Sandall won First Prize for Documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1968, yet his films are scarcely known, even in Australia now. Mortimer demonstrates how Sandall's films continue to be relevant to contemporary discussions in the fields of anthropology and documentary studies. She ties exploration of the making and restriction of Sandall's aboriginal films and his nonrestricted films made in Mexico, Australia, and India to the radical history of anthropology and the resurgence today of an expanded, existential-phenomenological anthropology that encompasses the vital connections between humans, animals, things, and our environment.



1. Trusting the Material: Maíz (1962)

2. Environments Fit for the Spirit: The Flahertys, Sandall, and some Anarchist Anthropology

3. They Were Still Participants: The Ritual Films (1966-1976)

4. The Colors of the Infinite: Camels and the Pitjantjara (1969)

5. "What You Thinkin' About, Little Horse?": Coniston Muster: Scenes from a Stockman's Life (1972)

6. Harmony and Fire: Making a Bark Canoe (1969) and Ngatjakula: A Walbiri Fire Ceremony (1967 and 1977)

7. More Optional and More Fragile: Weddings (1976)

8. In the Floating Desert with Jayasinhji Jhala Part 1: The Tragada Bhavai: A Rural Theater Troupe of Gujarat (1981), A Zenana: Scenes and Recollections (1982), and The Bharvad Predicament (1987)

9. In the Floating Desert with Jayasinhji Jhala Part 2: Close Encounters of No Kind (2002), and Nomads

A (Relative) Conclusion

Appendix I: Roger Sandall's Filmed Material Held at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Appendix II: Roger Sandall's Films Made (Produced, Directed and Edited), Film Awards, and Special Screenings

Appendix III: Innovation in Sound Recording Made During the Filming of the AIAS Ritual Films According to David MacDougall

Appendix IV: Availability of Sandall's Non-Restricted Films






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Date de parution 12 septembre 2019
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780253043962
Langue English
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Explorations in the Aesthetic, the Existential, and the Possible
Lorraine Mortimer
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2019 by Lorraine Mortimer
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Mortimer, Lorraine, author.
Title: Roger Sandall s films and contemporary anthropology : explorations in the aesthetic, the existential, and the possible / Lorraine Mortimer.
Description: Bloomington, Indiana : Indiana University Press, [2019] | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2019016937 (print) | LCCN 2019980372 (ebook) | ISBN 9780253043979 (paperback) | ISBN 9780253043948 (hardback) | ISBN 9780253043955 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Sandall, Roger-Criticism and interpretation. | Ethnographic films-History and criticism.
Classification: LCC PN1998.3.S2517 M67 2019 (print) | LCC PN1998.3.S2517 (ebook) | DDC 791.4302/33092-dc23
LC record available at
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ISBN 978-0-253-04394-8 (hdbk.)
ISBN 978-0-253-04397-9 (pbk.)
ISBN 978-0-253-04395-5 (web PDF)
1 2 3 4 5 24 23 22 21 20 19
To my sons,
Cass and Declan, and
my Perth family,
Siyad, Samira, Yasir, Yazn, Sam, and Sarah.
Members of Aboriginal communities are respectfully advised that a number of people mentioned in writing and/or depicted in photographs in the following pages have passed away.


1 Trusting the Material: Ma z (1962)

2 Environments Fit for the Spirit: The Flahertys, Sandall, and Some Anarchist Anthropology

3 They Were Still Participants: The Ritual Films (1966-76)

4 The Colors of the Infinite: Camels and the Pitjantjara (1969)

5 What You Thinkin About, Little Horse? : Coniston Muster: Scenes from a Stockman s Life (1972)

6 Harmony and Fire: Making a Bark Canoe (1969) and A Walbiri Fire Ceremony: Ngatjakula (1967 and 1977)

7 More Optional and More Fragile: Weddings (1976)

8 In the Floating Desert with Jayasinhji Jhala, Part 1: The Tragada Bhavai: A Rural Theater Troupe of Gujarat (1981), A Zenana: Scenes and Recollections (1982), and The Bharvad Predicament (1987)

9 In the Floating Desert with Jayasinhji Jhala, Part 2: Close Encounters of No Kind (2002) and Nomads (1984)

A (Relative) Conclusion

Appendix 1: The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies List of Roger Sandall s Filmed Material

Appendix 2: Roger Sandall s List of Films He Made (Produced, Directed, and Edited), Film Awards, and Special Screenings

Appendix 3: Innovation in Sound Recording Made during the Filming of the AIAS Ritual Films according to David MacDougall

Appendix 4: Availability of Sandall s Nonrestricted Films



I T WAS TO STUDENTS IN CINEMA STUDIES AND then in anthropology and sociology at LaTrobe University that I showed the film Coniston Muster , which sparked off much enthusiasm and many good conversations in ethnographic film and documenting cultures courses. Researching and writing this book would not have been possible without the generous help of many people in varying capacities: For hours of film watching and/or conversation, for access to their personal archives, for answering my continuous barrage of questions, and for sharing materials with me, special thanks to Nic Peterson, Jayasinhji Jhala, and Philippa Sandall. For reading parts or all of the manuscript, as well as providing other assistance, I thank Cass Mortimer Eipper, Nic Peterson, Jayasinhji Jhala, Ian Bryson, Jacqueline Lambert, John Morton, Paul Hockings, David MacDougall, and Lyndall Ley Osborne (from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies). I also thank Linda Connor, Judith MacDougall, Jeremy Beckett, Jeremy Long, Peter Sutton, Adrienne McKibbens, Barrett Hodsdon, Felicity Rea, Annie Peters, Penny Harvey, Chris Geagea, Chris Gregory, Judith Robinson, Emma Sandall, Michael Matteson, and Andrew Pike, of Ronin Films.
The library staff at the University of Sydney helped me with research materials as did Sean Bridgemann at the National Film and Sound Archive. And the staff of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra, including Eleanor Galvin, Amy Chesher, Heath Garrett, and Kelly Wiltshire, were extremely helpful, often going that extra mile for me. I have Joe Firinu from the Central Land Council in Alice Springs to thank for being a go-between-between myself and members of the family of the book s star, Coniston Johnny, and for obtaining permissions to use images of him. I m indebted to his daughters, Amy and Daisy Campbell. Lastly, many thanks to my editor, Janice Frisch. Any errors and opinions expressed in the book are, however, my own.
Fig. 0.1. Roger Sandall at Berkeley in 1964. Photographer unknown .
I N 1966, A UNESCO R OUND T ABLE ON E THNOGRAPHIC Film took place in Sydney, Australia. Because of this meeting, as the filmmaker-anthropologist and Catholic anarchist Jean Rouch suggested, visitors discovered that it was on this same continent that contemporary social anthropology and the first real attempts to record on film ways of being, doing, and thinking were born. Yet despite their evident relationship, the trajectories of ethnographic film and anthropology have tended to remain separate. Fifty years after that conference, many anthropologists in the English-speaking world still neglect or ignore what film can offer for our understanding of living in the world. 1
This book s purpose is to reunite film and anthropology in an exploration that is both fertile for today and goes by way of the past, of hidden history, through works by Roger Sandall, a New Zealand-born filmmaker schooled at Columbia University, who was part of a vibrant avant-garde and social documentary film culture in New York in the 1960s. Mentored by Margaret Mead in anthropology and Cecile Starr in the fine arts, Sandall was recommended by the Museum Of Modern Art s Willard Van Dyke to become a one-man film unit at the newly formed Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS) in 1965.
Sandall attended the UNESCO conference, and his work was known and respected by the likes of Rouch, John Marshall, and Robert Gardner. He would go on to win First Prize for Documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1968, along with other awards. Yet his films are scarcely known, even in Australia now. Some are restricted and locked away in vaults. As my narrative unfolds, I address the reasons for the neglect and ignorance surrounding his body of work and discuss the making of films of Aboriginal men s ceremonies, along with issues surrounding the ethics and politics of cultural secrets. Sandall s nonrestricted films are examined in their own right-and I argue that they are as worthwhile and relevant today as they were at the time of filming.
Those at the UNESCO conference were not only struck by the number and diversity of the films that had been made in Australia but by the ferment of ideas at the Sydney event. There was questioning of the authority of the filmmakers vis- -vis their subjects, along with impassioned discussions about authenticity, ethics, and aesthetics in anthropology and on film. Colin Young, who had been invited by UNESCO with Edmund Carpenter to report on North American ethnographic films in the Pacific region, was also inspired by how diverse and interesting the inhabitants of the world of ethnographic filmmaking were. Young met Sandall, who became a colleague and friend for life, and when he returned to the University of California, Los Angeles, he began working with colleagues across departments to set up an ethnographic film program there. Yet despite the program nurturing some of the best filmmakers in the field, like David and Judith MacDougall, anthropology still largely remains a discipline of words. A lack of real engagement and depth of thinking still typifies many anthropologists attitudes to film. 2
Conversely, it was through the medium of film that I came to questions of being in the world-which at the same time involved a long-term questioning of the inadequacy and reductiveness of so much abstracted theory. Going to university to study languages, I was seduced by anthropology. I was nevertheless frustrated to study a subject, ostensibly about people, where actual persons seemed missing from accounts-swallowed up in systems of economics, kinship, religion, politics, and so on. My youthful hunch became my adult intellectual conviction that by ruling out of consideration elements of living that couldn t be translated into abstract systems in tidied-up written monographs, whole bodies of evidence in the aesthetic realm (with aesthetic used in its wide and original sense, referring to experience/knowledge through the senses) were excluded from consideration, reducing and impoverishing our potential to understand something about living in the world. A social science left it to art, including that popular and undervalued one, film, to convey something of people s lives in their existential fullness.
Here I am wanting to bring back matter , human and nonhuman, to anthropology. Sandall s early writing and his films, along with the work of various anthropologists, philosophers, artists, and activists, have helped me make an argument-about letting things live in the environment and trying to maintain this life, instead of destroying it, in our theory. And just as I am dealing with a neglected or unknown body of films, my focus on contemporary anthropology has involved resurrecting neglected and/or little-known historical work in the field itself. Exploration of the films is also tied to discussion of the resurgence in anthropology of careful attention to and valuing of those ways of being, doing, and thinking that Rouch saw as fundamental to the discipline, a discipline only slowly catching up with what film has long been doing. Examining Sandall s films and some that influenced him, I discuss the current flourishing of an expanded, phenomenological anthropology that encompasses the vital connections between humans, animals, things, and our environment, along with phenomenological approaches to film and those who engage with it.
In Sandall s work, we see stockmen talk affectionately with horses and a camel driver do the same with the beast he is breaking in. These people s livings can involve actions upon animals that we find cruel, but the point is that all of them-man, woman, and beast, in the daily struggle of life-take punishment and receive some affection if they are lucky. The people know they are interrelated with these animals, and in these films, we see and feel the pulse of animals, the effort, fear, and vitality that they share with their masters. The skill of Sandall s filmmaking helps bring this shared universe to life, as does the fact that as Stanley Cavell noted, film and photography can present a world in which human beings are not ontologically favored over the rest of nature. 3
David MacDougall succeeded Sandall at AIAS (which is now the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies), and he has argued that wise filmmakers create structures in which being is allowed to live. 4 Sandall, I believe, was one of these wise filmmakers, and films he made with Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians, Mexicans, and (with Jayasinhji Jhala) Bharvard and Rabari people deserve to be known and engaged with, since in these films, the people speak for themselves. And they continue to struggle today to preserve their own dignity and viable ways of life. Besides MacDougall, I have many intellectual companions in this book, who are convinced that the sharing of wealth by all people is our best way and best chance to live and survive and that good scholarship and struggles for people s right to well-being in sustainable environments can go hand in hand.
I am not alone in thinking that some of Sandall s later writing, long after he had stopped filming, was less wise than his films, but this is no place to discuss this later work. I like the irony that someone who aligns herself with the anarchist socialist tradition is the person who writes about the film-work of a man who in his later years became known as a right-wing commentator. I m convinced this is a productive paradox, since the truth is nuanced, as Marcel Mauss said, and polemics cannot discover it. 5 The anthropologist and filmmaker Jayasinhji Jhala, who respected, learned from, and filmed with Sandall, is still working with tribal people today and mentoring students in their projects in India and elsewhere. The heritage of Sandall s film work continues. And here, thanks to him and Jhala and those who participated in the films, along with the attendant discussions, there are also spaces of singing and dancing-even joy.

1 . See Jean Rouch, Avant-propos, in Premier catalogue s lectif international de films ethnographiques sur la r gion du Pacifique , ed. Comit international du film ethnographique et sociologique (Paris: Unesco, 1970), 13. See too Australian National Advisory Committee for UNESCO, Round Table on Ethnographic Film in the Pacific Area (Sydney: Australian National Advisory Committee for UNESCO, 1966).
2 . See Margaret Mead, Visual Anthropology in a Discipline of Words, in Principles of Visual Anthropology , 2nd ed., ed. Paul Hockings, 3-10. (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1995). Sandall, Rouch, Young, MacDougall, and Carpenter all contributed to this volume, first published in 1975.
3 . See Stanley Cavell, The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film , enlarged ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 1979), 37.
4 . David MacDougall, The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), 4.
5 . Jane I. Guyer, Translator Introduction: The Gift That Keeps on Giving, in Marcel Mauss, The Gift: Expanded Edition , selected, annotated, and trans. Jane I. Guyer (Chicago: Hau Books, 2016), 10.
Ma z (1962)
Of all our photographic endeavors, few aroused the distaste of the Indians so much as our attempts to show them eating their food. The reason is not obscure. Meal-time was the one occasion in each day when we became equal with our hosts. Squatting on the floor eating our tortillas and beans and salt, we were taking part in a deeply symbolic ceremony, an egalitarian rite. Though we might spend eleven hours a day as detached observers of Indian life, in this twelfth hour we were participants, we shared. It was meal-time which joined us, and to introduce the separating distance of the camera at this point, to become aloof eyes looking on, was to neglect an essential display of fellowship.
Roger Sandall, Ma z: A Production History 1
Rhythm and Respect
Ma z is a modest nine-minute film, made for the partial fulfilment of the requirements for a degree of master of fine arts at Columbia University. Yet when we enter its world, we could think we were in the hands of one of the great Russian directors-on the slopes of mountains, with people and animals worthy of respect, all vaulted under a magnificent sky. And it s a world that is worked. Along with strong, sculpted faces recalling those seen in Eisenstein s Que Viva Mexico! (1931), there are endless processes-shots of oxen s legs and hooves in the soil, expending effort, balancing, and plowing. 2 There s water, forest, flowers, fire, and the sun flaring primordially through black smoke. Many of the elements that fascinated the earliest filmmakers are here. It s spring in the mountains of Mexico, a narrator tells us, and the fires are burning because men are clearing the land, making it ready for planting ma z. Central to the film, there are women making tortillas from the staple, not only Mexico s daily food, but for the Indian peasant, it s more than food: it s his work and his life. As children with big smiles play at helping the women, we absorb the scarce narration and music as organic, and it s hard to believe this finely crafted presentation was someone s first film.
After his grounding in anthropology at the University of Auckland and encouragement by American postgraduates on Fulbright scholarships in New Zealand, Roger Sandall took up a fellowship to complete a master s degree at Columbia University in New York. He was immersed in anthropology and worked with Margaret Mead, with whom he would form a friendship until the time of her death, but he transferred to the fine arts program where his passion for film, nourished by the North American and French cinema verit directors, could bear fruit.
It was with the anthropologist Dorothy Cinquemani-who had known a group of Indians, spoken their language, and shared portions of their lives-that Sandall went to southwest Mexico in the Sierra Madre mountains to make the short film that became Ma z . Cinquemani s fieldwork research was orthodox, Sandall tells us in his production history (submitted as part of his fine arts degree), but what interest the film he created holds as a human document, its human aspect, came from her shared intimacy and friendship with those filmed. 3 Completing the team on location were Cinquemani s husband, Frank, as production assistant, and Jennifer Chatfield as stills photographer.
The anthropologist planned a modest documentary on peasant life. She expected data -illustration that might accompany the adult education course on Mexican Indians she gave at the American Museum of Natural History. The museum, in exchange for camera equipment and raw film stock, expected an educational film. 4 Sandall tells us that he had something different in mind-something more along the lines of the sketch of rural life that appeared in Georges Rouquier s 1946 film, Farrebique (2-3). 5
Sandall s production history comes with full admission of his scarce personal experience in filmmaking and with all humility about his first rough cut of the film amounting to a compound of crass beginner s errors. He had the revelation that he d basically failed to understand the sheer plasticity of film, that the hundreds of shots he returned with were able to say hundreds of different things in hundreds of different ways. Whatever the truth and realism of the images, he realized that only when he knew what he wanted to say could he make first a selection and then a dramatically satisfying arrangement of images (20). He was nevertheless already well aware of something he would address at the Institute of Aboriginal Studies years later, when he noted that the anthropological list of things to be shot is comprehensive but that the film-making anthropologist who finds it both natural and desirable for a native, carving a dug-out from the trunk of a tree, to lop off all the branches in order to reveal the form of the boat, seems rarely able to lop and prune his celluloid branches and twigs (3).
Sandall s real learning curve began on arriving on location, when he found how little could be counted on in the making of a documentary film. The life of the family Cinquemani knew couldn t be pictured in their village. The family had made the summer migration to the cornfields they worked on at that time; so, it was in a socially detached field house, miles from the village, that the proposed protagonists had gone to live. This was far from their nearest neighbors, surrounded by air and sky, and on top of a high mountain ridge. Just as important, the family members, consisting of Don Nacho, Do a Jacoba, their son, Ram n, and his wife, Filomena, were unwilling to play themselves. So the pictured family was a fictional composite. Fortunately, another young man who was living in the household agreed to play Ram n, while a widow with five children, Antonia, agreed to take Filomena s place. How lucky they were to have Antonia and her children was finally made clear, said Sandall, by the fact that they were to give the film whatever warmth it had (4-5).
While the camera was set up for the participants and others to become used to it, it wasn t used immediately. Rather, a friendlier machine, a new model Polaroid that offered instant portraiture, was used to break down apprehension. It delighted people, and Ram n himself learned to use it. However, while distrust could be lessened, it couldn t entirely be overcome. For the colonized indigenes there was an understandable suspicion of all white people. Whites speaking Spanish were viewed as members of the Mexican elite-culturally, economically, and racially different from the Indians themselves. English-speaking white people like Sandall himself were gringos , more legendary, mythical, and dangerous (6).
Cinquemani had been alone when she first visited the family. On subsequent visits, no more than one other person had accompanied her. And as any guests, foreign filmmakers or otherwise, can attest to, numbers make a difference. Says Sandall, in his account: For the Indians two gringos were tolerable: but four was another matter, and throughout our stay in the mountains there was always the danger that we should be regarded less as visitors than as an occupying force (6). To ask something of people in such situations, both diplomacy and ordinary human respect for others feelings are needed. Sandall wrote:

It was for this reason that when shooting began it was in the corn field rather than near the house. A fine field of growing corn is a thing all men rejoice in. It implies knowledge, ability and success, and to picture a man in this setting is to give him a stature equal to other men. A dirt-floored windowless hut of tattered thatch is not something all men rejoice in. It implies ignorance, incapacity and failure, and to picture a man in this setting is to stamp his poverty on his brow, to set him apart and below. And these things the Indians well know (6-7).

While at the location and questioning how he would build this first film, Sandall s thinking already related to the way music works with themes and patterns. And the theme that consciously developed in the field was that of manual labor: The basic tool in the pre-mechanical society is the human hand, and the abundance of close-ups of hands at work in the finished film reflects this early preoccupation. This is unsurprising, since this is indeed how the Indian hosts sustain themselves, but manual labor on the land was also an early preoccupation in Sandall s own life that would stay with him personally and in his work (8-9).
Since he was also keeping open the possibility of a final document composed of a series of consecutive events, along with filming various pieces of work from start to finish, he composed bridges to link them-so, he concluded in his account, some amazingly awkward and obvious connecting scenes were shot. Phoneyness was the result whenever he tried to arrange things within the frame. On the other hand, something as natural and pleasing as the final tortilla-making scenes that appeared in the film needed artfulness to get them, and they illustrate the kind of common and banal difficulties often involved in filmmaking. Since the grinding of corn and tortilla making was usually work that went on inside the house, and the only hole in the small building was the door, Sandall used aluminum foil reflectors to throw in light that was needed through that entrance. But when they did this, they made the women, who d only reluctantly agreed to the intrusion, wince from the glare. The scenes, processed in Mexico City during the time of the shoot, turned out to be unusable, however, not because of the pained grimaces but because Sandall had brought the wrong type of film, and everything from white teeth to brown tortillas was uniformly blue ! When he returned from Mexico City, the widow Antonia, though not overjoyed when Sandall told them that the whole sequence would have to be done again in the open air, agreed to help once more. Large stones were placed around an outdoor fire, an iron griddle placed across it and the tortillas cooked on top. Antonia s work was more than justified by the results, said Sandall. She gave them one of the best sequences of the film (9, 11).
Watching Ma z , it s not hard to agree with this. The graciousness of handsome and hardworking Antonia comes across in her communication with the camera. The first we see of her is a close-up of her hands, shelling brown and yellow corn, with a huge basket and kids on either side working too. She s photogenic, her smile is easy, and her face pleasing, with jet-black hair and golden earrings framing it. There are chickens clucking in the background and pipes and guitar on the soundtrack, all carrying us over to corn being poured and then being ground with a hand-operated mill, and we pull out to see behind her spindly white trees and immediately beyond that green valleys. Dough is then being rolled on a stone surface, and patties are being made, and we soon see Antonia in close-up on the left of the screen, with a big full smile as she works. We see flattened patties laid out on the griddle and her hand turning them over. And soon we catch a tiny bit of movement in the patties, like they re coming alive. When we cut to the little girls with unkempt but cute dresses, their faces show curiosity but no intimidation before the camera, to which they look directly when they choose. Antonia is rolling again, and after we cut to her from behind, to her neck and red comb in that black hair, we cut back to the tortillas and everyday alchemy-one tortilla rises before our eyes. Sandall completes the sequence by cutting to a fine green corn plant growing. It s as if this whole sequence were shot to the accompaniment of the guitar and pipes that for us are all part of the picture, along with the noisy chickens. The craft and beauty-of Antonia being and working and of Sandall s cinematography and later editing-are all part of learning about people s days, lives, and sustenance.
Having originally decided to do without music (the early attempt to dispense with it, he says in his account, arose from a grotesque misunderstanding of its possibilities ), Sandall nicely described the music finally used in relation to the splendid tortilla-making sequence, where strong chords on the guitar coincide both with a cut to a close-up of hands patting a tortilla and to the subsequent rhythm of the work. When the tortilla rises on the griddle, swelling with steam, a final note on the flute seems to thrust it bodily up (30). When he realized wild sound or effects would be far too difficult to assemble well, he knew he needed to find a musician. The music needed to sound simple and unsophisticated, like the Indians and their way of life. It would preferably be based on a Mexican folk theme, but he didn t want folk music, which for his purposes, he believed, could be too structurally rigid, too monotonous, too emotionally uniform. He decided a guitarist able to improvise flexibly to the picture was needed, and after months of searching and hours of listening he was introduced to John Duffy, who wrote a score in ten days, adding a flute to the guitar and composing nine cues to suit different parts of the film (28-29).
Closely related to the use of music was the cutting. Sandall s analysis of a sequence he d created in that first rough cut full of beginner s errors is instructive: What was the point of a sequence on woodcutting I created, in which an ax whirled into a log in such a flurry of blows that the chips fairly danced off the screen? It seemed to suggest that the Indian, contrary to popular belief, was a demon worker, a storm of energy. And I didn t really want to suggest anything of the kind. Sandall showed the sequence to a professional editor, Aram Boyajian, whose response struck a chord in him: Do you really think these people leap around like devils? Doesn t their life have a different rhythm-slow and steady, like the oxen pulling the plow? (21).
Sandall knew Boyajian was right but concluded he d had no time to see this himself, since he d been obsessed by the notion that the simple and prosaic activities he d shot had to be made exciting: I didn t trust them to keep people awake in themselves. That was why I had concentrated on enormous close-ups in the field. That was one reason I now concentrated on a rapid cutting pace. And as a result my concern with the operation itself transformed the operators, the people, into something they were not. Which cutting pace ultimately would be appropriate for the woodcutting sequence only became clear when I could see it within the context of the film as a whole (21). Like others who worked in what came to be called the observational cinema tradition, Sandall would soon lay great stress on trusting the material itself as part of being true to the people he filmed. He also became wary of close-ups.
Looking at his footage back in New York, he had seen that he had taken an incredible number of pictures of agreeable smiling faces that could give an impression that the Indians lives were impossibly happy and improbably free of care. He explains how he thinks this happened: Sentimentality is the usual vice of those who champion underdogs. A worthy but quite irrational belief in the superior virtue of the oppressed is ingrained in the liberal psyche. But while on guard against this absurdity, I was so determined not to come up with the usual anthropology film, with its cold resentful faces, its human butterflies pinned up on the screen for scientific inspection, that the search for the warm and the sympathetic led to another equally sentimental error-the superior happiness of the oppressed. I was overcompensating (14). Sandall had hoped Antonia s fifteen-year-old son, Carlos, might provide some character focus, a human center-piece for the film, but the three-week shoot was too short a time to develop what he would have liked. He recounted: Joining him with my camera one day, I shot Carlos the herdsman, breathlessly panting after stray beasts; Carlos the hunter, gun in hand, slipping ahead through the trees; Carlos the marksman, poised, rifle at the ready, waiting for the pigeons we had been told about, but which indiscriminate shooting had all but banished from the woods. As it all took shape later, however, the film had no place for Carlos, as hunter, marksman or herd. He is barely so much as glimpsed (12).
While pragmatic acceptance is something that any filmmaker must be capable of, Sandall explains why a boy would have been so good to focus on. Unlike Ram n, with all his responsibilities, Carlos still experienced life at different levels, working by day with men in the fields and then, in the dusk and evening, having his adventures in the woods. (Sandall himself stole peaches with him from an absent farmer s orchard on one of these evenings-the farmer they were to buy from being away.) The boy s life, combining the labor of the mature with the excitement and sense of wonder of the young, lent itself most readily to a richly textured portrait of the Indian scene (13).
This interest in capturing children s worlds had already had a long history on film, both documentary and fiction, and in his section The Use and Abuse of Children, Sandall suggests that the child s world is many worlds, intensely experienced, if vaguely understood. He says, If a romantic heightening is one of the qualities shared in common by Louisiana Story and The Great Adventure it is because both of them use the viewpoint of the child as an excuse for presenting a world richer in wonder, beauty and mystery than adults are any longer able to perceive (13). 6
Except at the cinema? we might ask. There is a long history of associating cinematic thinking with children, natives, and people considered mad. Many believe that both the imagination and an all-inclusive concreteness have room to live on film and in those who engage with it. And surely artists, filmic or otherwise, share this other world that they want to convey to or evoke for people in general. I d wager that adult human interiority-wherever it is manifested-still maintains such perceptions (and not only among people labeled natives ). I suspect the point here is rather that mainstream social-scientific writing has not countenanced this continuation of the child s perception of the world. In this respect, it has tended to follow a dominant, disenchanted modern Western perspective of what constitutes development and progress. 7

Fig. 1.1. In the mountains of Mexico. Roger Sandall .
Just as important, however (and Sandall notes that it would be disingenuous not to admit it), is the fact that audiences that resist intellectual arguments on the subject of poverty cannot resist children (14). Near the beginning of their life stories, children are associated with the notion of possibility. I d suggest too that our perception of this and the children themselves also has a natural, corporeal-empathetic anchor, and it s a powerful one.
Avoiding Betrayal
During the edit, the long delayed but unavoidable question was asked. And it involved boundaries still significant for many anthropologists and filmmakers today: Was the film to be mainly ethnography or art? Cinquemani, Sandall tells us, started to think about making two different films, one shorter and hopefully, artistic and the other a longer one that was more severely educational in its aim. Sandall writes that he oscillated between accepting and resisting such a plan, but along with being unsure that art and instruction were really so incompatible, lack of funds made two versions impossible. He decided to try to follow a path of reconciliation and make the best of both worlds (23).

Fig. 1.2. In the forest. Roger Sandall .
As he had originally hoped to do without music, Sandall had wanted no narration. One of the reasons he gives for his resistance is that it is difficult to assimilate the role and personality of a narrator to a film. Moreover, faceless, anonymous voices selling potions and politics had become a commonplace of daily life. Propaganda and publicity have vastly weakened the dramatic appeal of the anonymous voice, and may be counted modern reasons for a general resistance to narrators, he concludes. Most important, however, there can be something just plain wrong in having a voice tell about, explain, comment on, or speak for a foreign people, a poor people speaking a strange tongue and unable to explain themselves directly, a people known only through an interpreter s clouded glass. The hard-learned wisdom of centuries is summed up in the French saying, To translate is to betray (31). 8
The film Sandall was making in Mexico left little that needed to be verbally articulated, he believed. He wasn t trying to create a baldly informational film. So when narration was in the end used for Ma z , it s role was not to expand, embellish, or interpret but simply to clarify. The brief and intermittent sentences that constitute it make up one single page that he attaches as an appendix. 9 In the body of his account, he specified what he did and didn t need in a narrator: It was hard to find someone who could read these sentences simply: the professional actor has spent years developing vocal expressiveness, melodious intonations, character -and in the reading I sought none of these qualities were required. Some warmth was needed, but otherwise the voice had to be purged of emotionality, wrung dry of tears, made into a lean instrument for stating necessary facts (31-33).
Restraint is a key here. He writes of allowing the narrator to step forward occasionally when clarification and explanation are needed, but he is not allowed to trample on the faces of Antonia, Maria and Ram n; he is not permitted to intrude at those moments when they seem to be closest to us, and least conscious of being observed; he is not allowed to approach so near that they are in danger of being cramped or overwhelmed. In the narration, as in the photography and the editing, I kept one goal in view: as far as possible, Ma z was to show the Indians as they themselves would like to be seen-free, tall-standing, and unafraid (33).
There was some validity to what some of the people exposed to Ma z would have liked, Sandall noted. Were there deeper, richer meanings which one had almost a responsibility to explore? he asked. But I think his judgment about refraining from expanding philosophically on these meanings here was right. And it left us with a particularly resonant little film fifty years later. He felt it would be highly dangerous to make [meanings] explicit. Various people remarked upon seeing the film that it showed what they felt was the universal essence of peasant life. I was glad that they felt this way. Such feelings revealed that Ma z had a power and suggestiveness I never anticipated. But to have tried openly to direct the audience to such conclusions would almost certainly have been disastrous (31-32). Allowing that poetic enrichment could have its place elsewhere, Sandall asked, semirhetorically: What can one say about a daisy, an ax chopping wood, a child s bare feet, a man s fist grasping the handle of a plow? (32).
I like very much the fact that the animator Hayao Miyazaki has said that the world isn t simple enough to explain in words. 10 And numerous theorists both before and after the time Sandall wrote his account have addressed the question of what becomes of things on film that can render ordinary language not only superfluous but extraneous and reductive. Like some of the poets, practitioners, and theorists on early film, the philosopher and film lover Stanley Cavell argued that things seem to speak themselves on film, seeming to be inherently reflexive. 11 Cavell further suggested, as we saw in the introduction, that photographs, at the basis of film, are of a world in which human beings are not ontologically favored over the rest of nature. 12 Sandall s daisy, ax chopping wood, child s bare feet, and man s fist grasping the handle of a plow could speak volumes in Ma z , without saying a word.
With film, B la Bal zs wrote, a new personage is added to the dramatis personae of the photographed play: nature itself. 13 Just as the human was in the landscape, the landscape was in the human. Bal zs, the Marxist, didn t hesitate to speak of spirit and soul : and for him, on film, objects themselves could have souls. In the mid-1950s, Edgar Morin drew on Bal zs, French artists and writers, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists in his book on the phenomenon of film and the human being who engaged with it. In The Cinema, or The Imaginary Man , he acknowledged the importance of Jean-Paul Sartre s L Imaginaire , which illustrated the way that some of the processes at the heart of film were also at the heart of everyday life. It was not only in film that strong emotions, for example, converted themselves into magic. 14
Inanimate objects, now you have a soul, Morin asserted in a heading to one of the sections of his essay in anthropology, as he originally subtitled his book, where he wrote of the revival of ancient magics and the reanimation of a vitalist sensibility that the cinema seems to bring about in those who engage with it. Paradoxically enabled by a modern mechanical device and chemical processes, objects can live, play, speak, and act. As Morin notes, the writer and filmmaker Jean Epstein had suggested that cinema brought spectators back to a universe of archaic vision, to the old animistic and mystical order. 15 In fact, the cinema, wrote the writer and filmmaker Ren Clair, gives a soul to the cabaret, the room, a bottle, a wall ! 16
Morin, particularly important for us since he addressed the anthropological basis of our engagement with film (and happened to make the landmark documentary Chronicle of a Summer , with Jean Rouch in 1960), wrote of the fluid universe that Epstein had found in the cinema. The fluid universe of film, wrote Morin, supposes unceasing reciprocal transfers between the microcosm man and the macrocosm : The great current that carries each film along gives rise to the interchangeability of men and things, faces and objects. Ceaselessly, the face of the earth is expressed in that of the plowman, and, reciprocally, the soul of the peasant appears in the vision of wheat fluttering in the wind. In the same way, the ocean is expressed in the face of the sailor, and the face of the sailor is expressed in the ocean. For the face, on the screen, becomes landscape, and the landscape becomes face, that is, soul . 17
But what is this soul? Morin s question and his suggested response below are useful, I think, and are in keeping with fifty years of his work, where he has warned us not to mistake living processes for essences . He is a social scientist who has consistently stressed relationality and complexity -while never neglecting mystery : [The soul] is this imprecise zone of the psyche in its nascent state, in a state of transformation, this mental embryogenesis where all that is distinct is mixed, where all that is mixed is in the process of becoming distinct, in the midst of subjective participation. Let the reader who wears his soul on his sleeve forgive us. The soul is only a metaphor for us to designate unspecified needs, psychic processes in their nascent materiality or decadent residual state. Man does not have a soul. He has soul. 18 Morin doesn t hold back: Love, passion, emotion, heart: the cinema, like our world, is all slimy and tear-soaked with them. So much soul! One understands the reaction that has emerged against crude projection-identification, the dripping soul, in the theater with Bertolt Brecht, in film, in diverse forms, with Eisenstein, Wyler, Welles, Bresson, and others. 19
Sandall, no doubt, would have agreed with Morin s caution. Yet to keep things complex, none of this renders null and void the human experience of soul. While a notion can be reified, hypostatized, commodified, and sold for profit, it doesn t make the processes that we experience go away.
Eisenstein, Morin noted, had seen cinema as the only concrete and dynamic art capable of restoring to the intelligence its vital concrete and emotional sources. 20 And in his chapter Birth of a Reason, Morin suggested that Eisenstein believed that cinema demonstrated experientially that feeling is not irrational fantasy, but a moment of knowledge. He does not oppose magic to the rational. He does not so much take the part of the one or the other, but he wants to grasp them at their common source, he wants to produce symbols bursting with all their riches, objects charged with soul, souls charged with ideas. 21
Morin found in writing his book about film and its human audience that he could not write a sociological study of the phenomenon without interrogating film s magic, which was not, as we ve noted, only a magic that characterized the medium. It is very much a part of modern human beings engaging with film and living in the world. The way I think of it is that if the magical is part of the stuff of film and film experience, it is also always/already embedded in our experience of each other and the world. Morin returned to Marcel Mauss, when he argued that the partitions and distinctions within the human sciences prevent us from grasping the profound continuity between magic, feeling, and reason, although this contradictory unity is the Gordian knot of all anthropology . Magic and feeling are also means of knowing. And our rational concepts are themselves still imbued with magic, as Mauss observed. 22 Morin used the word anthropology in the German rather than the Anglo-Saxon sense. It included history, psychology, sociology, economics, and whatever else was relevant for the exploration of human being in the world. And he believed that writers like Dickens and Balzac did more justice to the complexity of everyday life than many social scientific accounts. Indeed, he suggested that it was the mystical epileptic reactionary, Dostoyevsky, rather than all the great secular thinkers, who had more clearly seen the fanatical spirit of Bolshevism before it came into being. 23
None of this means we should jettison the category of reason. But reason must be able to question itself. True rationality, says Morin, recognizes irrationality and dialogues with the unrationalizable. It is profoundly tolerant in regard to mysteries. 24 False rationality, on the other hand, has always treated as primitive, infantile, or prelogical populations displaying a complexity of thought, not only in relation to the technical but in the knowledge of nature and myths. 25 The emphasis is his own when he writes that the struggle against the rationalization, reification, deification, and instrumentalization of reason is the very task of an open rationality . 26
In The Corporeal Image , David MacDougall takes his cue from Jos Ortega y Gasset and Gilberto Perez on certain effects of proximity on the screen that apply not only to faces and parts of the body but also to objects: The cinema allows us to grasp the corporeality of inanimate objects with what might be called a prehensile vision. It alters our relation to the material world in terms of volume, weight, textures, colors, and detail. It allows us to incorporate objects into our own experience in ways that may reflect more directly the experience of those who handle them intimately, whether they be makers of pottery or farmers or industrial workers. Many films explore the possibilities of a special relationship to the material world. 27 In Ma z , the flower, the ax, the feet, fist, and plow were all part of a world that Sandall was attending to and briefly participating in, capturing and congealing in time some of its feel, movement, materiality, and literally, people s horizons. These elements are likely to be part of what gave the film its resonance for those he showed the film to-that power of suggestiveness that he never anticipated. We know through brief but deep acquaintance something of an environment and its inhabitants.

Viable, Dignified Lives
In Sandall s account, after the dissolve to that splendid corn plant aglow in the afternoon sun, where we left the film, oxen are shown leaving the fields. With work over, forest scenes he had shot were used to provide a marked change in mood and atmosphere after the activity that had gone before. Most of the colors are coolly blue and green, wrote Sandall, who argued that in Robert Flaherty s Louisiana Story , scenes of great natural beauty were organically part of a dramatic narrative, part of the story of the boy at the center of the film (Alexander Napoleon Ulysses Latour). He contrasts the situation in his own small and quickly made film: In Ma z , without story or character, the pretty pictures are used simply as a decorative panel, a pastoral excursion for the sake of atmosphere alone (25). But I m suggesting that in the film this is not how they function.
Sandall s narrator had introduced the postwork phase of the film this way: When the day s work ends in the cornfield, the oxen go to the forest to drink and graze. We can describe that narration, uncontroversially, I think, as plain style. But then crickets can be heard on the soundtrack, and cows moo (a simple light word for a deep and rich sound) as they descend the hill toward the water they ll drink. There s our white daisy in the soil, a shot of the sun and its rays through the branches and leaves of trees as we descend with the cows and those who work them. Other bird noises join the crickets, and we come across another more delicate flower that is buttercup yellow. We get to the water-still, but like everything else, moving and reflecting the sky and branches of trees. In a patch of light, with water flowing on the soundtrack, a black and white speckled cow tracks down behind branches, to where it drinks. In nonplain style, I call the sequence stunning. And it has presented us with a phase of a working day in lives that were lived. If not part of some onscreen drama, these scenes of beauty are nonetheless part of the people s and animals everyday life stories. And Sandall s shooting and editing have enabled us to be party to them.
Again, in his production account, he returns to the woodcutting he d gotten so wrong in his earliest cut: Instead of furious action, placidity and morning calm: no flying chips-just a man, remote under a tree, and beyond him a house from which the blue smoke of a cooking fire drifts slowly away into the steady air of dawn. Dramatically, this material now served a formal purpose. A new day was commencing, and though originally I would not have dreamed of employing it in this way it was to suggest the quietude of morning that the woodcutting came finally to be used (25-26). Narrative motivation and organization are clearly important to Sandall, just as they can be satisfying to us as viewers. The woodcutting indeed works organically the next morning, but along with its formal purpose now, it is also part of a scene in itself-one of great beauty. Film images are often more persuasive in themselves and in our interaction with them than the narratives that attempt to contain them. Narratives can be weakened or rendered irrelevant by their power, the images like courtroom statements that are overruled-but we the jury have heard, witnessed, and experienced these things and made our own connections. 28 Sandall s pretty pictures are part of a life-world that comes before those partitions and distinctions within the human sciences that can prevent us from grasping the profound continuity between magic, feeling, and reason of which Mauss, the anthropologist, spoke. The pictures come before those distinctions we make that parcel up what is essential and nonessential, relevant and irrelevant, hard and soft data in much social scientific work.
Sandall tells us in his production history that Ram n had not wanted to leave his land to live in Mexico City, despite the fact that he could get regular work and higher wages there. He wrote: Like other farmers he lived by toiling on the land, and had little enough reason to romanticise it. And yet unlike most farmers Ram n saw his mountains not merely as brute material masses but as things of beauty to be admired and wondered at. He lived, he explained, between the mountains and the sky, and would not willingly leave them to go to Mexico City for all its high wages and regular work (12-13). To Sandall s credit, Ma z communicates something of the way Ram n is at home in the deep sense of that word, as an actual place that is also a notion. The mountains and sky are in this laboring man, as he is in them.
All these years later, after reading much of his writing, it is evident that questions of romanticism and modernity would preoccupy Sandall until the end of his life. And we can wonder if he really believed that Ram n, whom he found a man of sensitivity and intelligence, was so different from other farmers? Did he really believe the others saw their mountains as brute material masses rather than things of beauty to be admired and wondered at, even if they were part of a very hard life? (12-13). 29
Sandall grew up with a strong feel for landscape and loved the time spent on his uncle s farm. In later life, until he was no longer able, he liked to farm-sit in the way that some other retired folk house-sit for others. Describing mountains as brute material masses seems to me more like the way a corporate/bureaucratic developer might think, a person or body who sees them as an obstruction to what an industrial enterprise wants to do on or to the portion of land in question. Perhaps Sandall was using words that more clearly fitted with the way unromantic social scientific writing in the 1960s might describe landscape when it wasn t judged relevant to the social facts of anthropological analysis. Whatever the case, though, in Ma z itself, it would be difficult to think of the mountains as merely things. Rather, we re aware of everything being alive and related-that aliveness and relatedness about which earlier film theorists wrote and that contemporary written anthropology is now taking pains to stress.
MacDougall has written well about losses and gains involved in relation to visual and written anthropology over time. For early film audiences generally, he notes, cinema provided an almost magical illusion of reality. For us it has become less magical in a technical sense but possibly more so in its potential for exploring the intricacies of human experience. 30 At the same time, it s worth reminding ourselves here of some of the background to the anthropology, in all its variations, that we have today. MacDougall writes:

As anthropology became professionalized, it developed its own discursive voice, adapting earlier missionary and travel writing to a more abstract style outfitted with a specialized scientific vocabulary. The anthropological questionnaire, combined with fieldwork practices, led to a standardization of categories within which to fit the new knowledge. The styles varied, but the method of participation-observation, which replaced gleaning information from missionaries and local administrators, put the anthropologist firmly at the center of the new ethnography. He or she was not merely an intermediary between the society studied and the anthropological audience but performed a kind of digestive process on the experiences of fieldwork, out of which emerged a new object. This process was later to be described as a translation of culture. 31

The knowledge that mattered in this anthropology was no longer an expression of physical form but a set of mental constructions, noted MacDougall, who is certainly one of those who welcomes written anthropology finally catching up with some of the breadth and richness in what exists for audiences open to film as a way of knowing. 32
Lila Abu-Lughod has reminded us that the characteristic mode of operation and style of writing in the social sciences wasn t neutral description. Rather, the generalizing mode of social scientific discourse facilitates abstraction and reification, she said. 33 She quotes the sociologist Dorothy Smith, who wrote that the complex organization of activities of actual individuals and their actual relations is entered into the discourse through concepts such as class, modernization, formal organization. A realm of theoretically constituted objects is created, freeing the discursive realm from its ground in the lives and work of actual individuals and liberating sociological inquiry to graze on a field of conceptual entities. 34 Smith took this further. She argued that this seemingly detached mode of reflecting on social life is actually located: it represents the perspective of those involved in professional, managerial, and administrative structures and is thus part of the ruling apparatus of this society. 35
In Existential Anthropology , Michael Jackson brings back those roots of wisdom on reason to be found in Sartre, Morin, and Mauss, when trying to describe and understand people s lives in this complexity we re trying to get to, one I m saying that film can often evoke. 36 Jackson stresses that he s not writing against reason but against the fetishisation of a logocentric notion of reason, one that has eclipsed our sense of the variety of ways in which human beings create viable lives-emotional, bodily, magical, metaphorical, practical and narrative. 37 Jackson wants to critique the uses to which managerial analytical reason is so often put in the social sciences. Other forms of reason that are less preoccupied with intellectual certainty and truth, he argues, are just as significant in the struggle for life. 38 But what he calls statist discourse writes off as irrational, nescient, impoverished or ephemeral those forms of life that it cannot grasp or control. Yet it is precisely those forms of human life-transitive, ambiguous, penumbral, elusive, irreducible, intermediate and resistant to what John Dewey called cognitive certification -that are existentially most imperative to us, and are at stake in the critical moments that define our lives, notably love, mutual recognition, respect, dignity, wellbeing. 39
As a hungry reader in wider than academic genres, Sandall, early in his production history, quoted Aldous Huxley s description of a Mexican mountain ridge, isolated from the world, something like where the family represented in the film was when he came to shoot them (4). Huxley was writing of an evening at San Pedro, in Oaxaca: In the last, almost level light, the scene was curiously moving-had the intensity, somehow, the more-than-reality of a work of art. It was partly, I suppose, because there was no background. We were on a little platform at the top of everything, with only the sky all around us. Every figure stood out clear and rather flat in strangely significant isolation, against that pale bright vacancy (Huxley in Sandall, 4-5). 40 After saying that he had wanted as far as possible to show the Indians as they would like to be seen, and noting that to do this, real discretion was needed, at the end of his thesis, Sandall gives the Mexican writer Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes the final word.
Well acquainted from childhood with the ways of life of Mexican Indians, Lopez y Fuentes was a journalist, a poet, and a short-story and novel writer and one of the chroniclers of the Mexican Revolution. His novel Tierra (1932), featuring the Indian leader Emiliano Zapata, focused on the Indians fight to keep their land. While Lopez y Fuentes supported the aims of the revolution, he was critical of the way reforms were made. In keeping with this, his later novel El Indio (illustrated by Diego Rivera) showed life in a remote Indian village and demonstrated a keen awareness of political and social conditions in postrevolutionary Mexico. Sandall quotes from this novel, where Lopez y Fuentes writes that only stealthily can this race be seen at its full height. They are like all untamed animals. When they believe themselves alone, they draw up to their full size, but then at the slightest suggestion of danger, how they shrink! What timidity! Even the peccary is beautiful when it is free; the stag a sculpture in solitude (Lopez y Fuentes in Sandall, 33). 41 Today it would be a foolhardy anthropologist or ethnographic filmmaker who would speak of a people being like all untamed animals. The power exerted over and sins committed against people justified by conceptions of race and comparison to animals rather than humans are well chronicled. Indeed, there is a level at which anthropology still exists by rehearsing acknowledgment and guilt in relation to the domination and exploitation of others. And it s hard to see how this would not be the case for a discipline born with and enabled by colonialism and its civilizing mission. 42 At the very same time, however, many anthropologists are convinced there is something worthy and necessary at the core of their discipline. Objects, animals, environments, and all elements of our universe-and their relationships to each other and humans-are coming back into the life-world that anthropologists are currently making it their business to examine and try to understand. 43 Indeed, in his highly influential essay To Modernize or Ecologize? Bruno Latour emphasizes that what he calls political ecology is incapable of integrating all of its meticulous and individual actions into some total and hierarchized unity, and has never sought to do that. This ignorance with regard to totality is precisely what saves it, since it can never rank small humans, huge layers of the ozone, or small elephants and middle-sized ostriches into a single hierarchy. 44 And he asks: What would a man be without an elephant, without a plant, without a lion, without cereal, without ocean, ozone and plankton? A man alone, much more alone than Robinson Crusoe on his island. Less than a man. Certainly not a man. 45 To think this way means to break with the model of a detached human whose supreme risk would be to be confounded with a-human nature as a starting point for analysis, emphasizing that what is non-human is not inhuman. 46
By coincidence, even Lopez y Fuentes s free peccary that can (miraculously!) attain the attribute of beauty comes into our picture in Philippe Descola s article Pourquoi les Indiens d Amazonie n ont-ils pas domestiqu le p cari? (Why haven t the Amazonian Indians domesticated the peccary?). 47 Descola argues that ethnology only began to go forward once it abandoned the question of origins and that the answer to such questions lies in the realm of different societies varying sets of relationships, their general principle of action upon matter and to relationships (technical and imaginary) to all that is living.
Just a few years ago, Nicolas Peterson, Sandall s main anthropologist-collaborator on the ritual films he would make in Australia, wrote an article called Is the Aboriginal Landscape Sentient? 48 The task Peterson set himself was to examine available evidence for whether Warlpiri speakers were/are animists. He concluded that what the question itself really means is not always clear in people s writing. Are particular anthropologists using the term metaphorically, or do they understand Aboriginal people to be animists? He is doubtful that the latter is the case. But the crucial point is that such questions are argued over in anthropology journals and seminars today.
I don t want to exaggerate, however, the extent to which contemporary anthropology has absorbed these old/new conceptions. Back in 1951, in L homme et la mort ( Man and Death ), Morin had protested against the techno-bourgeois model of the human, rejecting the notion of a conception of life as a linear progression of atomized individuals toward death. 49 In 1996, he was far from mistaken in Terre-Patrie ( Homeland Earth ) when he wrote: Still today, dominant philosophy and anthropology suppress any awareness and any taking account of the consequences of the living and animal identity of man, denouncing as irrational vitalism or perverse biologism any recognition of our terrestrial, physical, and biological rootedness. 50 Complementing this rootedness is the fact that, ultimately, we do not live only in prose. We live poetically. It is the modern West that has officially separated the poetry and the prose of everyday life, relegating the poetry to private life.
From Country to Wasteland
On that fine morning in Ma z while Ram n is cutting the wood, the narration comes in to explain the completion of a cycle: Through June and July, when the corn plants are still small, the soil between the rows of corn is plowed. But in August the plants have grown, and there s no room for the oxen to work. Then the summer plowing comes to an end. It s a day for special foods and decorations, and in the morning the oxen are yoked for the last time. And finally: Nearby, the plowman is finishing his work. Soon the women and children will go to the corn field to join him, and then a procession brings the season to an end (34). What we see and hear is untranslated singing in Spanish, hands plaiting rope and tying knots for yoking cattle. There are dogs barking on the soundtrack, roosters in view, a splendid brown cow before mountains, with streaks of cloud nestled between them-which gives us some indication of the height above sea level at which all this life goes on. Our cows are pulled into line, and we have the boy and the man who have led them. To the strumming of a guitar, a slender man is tying a fabric to an arch of cane, and children are making pretend patties as women stir the pots. The camera cuts to those little feet of one of the children. Then there is more rolling of patties by the kids on that stone, their faces smiling, playful, as if complicit with us, the audience. They give the impression that they know that, in one way, this is all an interesting game.
A woman weaves palm leaves. Others, Antonia included, wrap patties in palm fronds. The film focuses on the slope, the mountains, and the green of the maize plant. And as we see a red flower in a little girl s hand as she runs right to left of screen, a cow passes from left to right. The strumming of the guitar cuts to cows and men going through the high green corn. The cows are decorated for the procession, the men themselves adorned with colorful garlands. After a cut to a corn plant, we cut to a bird soaring in the sky. Once again we could be in the hands of one of the epic Russians. We see women and children left of screen and at last oxen joined by the decorated hoop we saw being made, and the whole family and others, more people than we ve seen so far, follow the cows up the hill to the sounds of pipes. White credits roll over green grass and soil, and John Duffy s music continues to the end, over shots of growing maize.
A family feast was to be part of the celebrations, but as we ve read, Sandall had been dubious about the team breaking the decorum, infringing on their position as guests who were asking a favor of people who shared food with them at the end of each day. Cinquemani, however, felt that for anthropological purposes it was necessary to film the people eating, so an attempt was made to shoot this, shattering the fragile rite, as Sandall put it. He had already predicted, however, that the people s self-consciousness, embarrassment, and palpable resentment would make for useless footage (15-16).
Sandall s feelings about the poignancy and ironies of a perpetuated ethnographic present are conveyed when he recounts that at the end of the location shooting, the family became Cinquemani s guests in Mexico City-a place none of them had ever been to before. Cinquemani wanted to help Ram n s mother, Do a Jacoba, and daughter, Maria Luz, get medical care they needed. We might harshly say that the well-meaning anthropologist also still needed her pound of flesh. Cinquemani wanted filmed material on Indian dancing, a scientific record of a fast-dying native tradition, as Sandall put it. He described what happened in this way: So between visits to doctors and clinics Ram n and do a Jacoba were persuaded to dance for us upon the green lawns of Chapultepec Park-once the summer home of the Aztec kings and now an attractive, well-wooded public domain. The lawns and trees of the park were recorded with Kodachromatic fidelity, as was the painful, sheepish embarrassment of old do a Jacoba and her son, pathetically captive, plucked from their far-off mountains into this alien setting and then set to shuffling joylessly through the steps of nigh-forgotten dances. A sad, and saddening sight (18).
In keeping with Flaherty s practice, Sandall says he did his best in Mexico City to show footage to Ram n. But he could never get a roll of film, a projector, and Ram n all together in the same place at the same time, so he had to wait until either he or Cinquemani returned with the finished film before he could see his mother and his children and himself, his animals and his corn fields, all come miraculously to life on a movie screen. At the time, Ram n had seen only one film in his life-a horse opera he found most entertaining (18-19). 51
The family was restless, Sandall says, to move out of Cinquemani s hotel in the center of Mexico City, and they moved to stay with relatives on the city s outskirts, to a home away from home in that wasteland of ugly industrial construction surrounded by shanty slums which Luis Bu uel, in Los Olvidados , pictured in all its wretchedness and desolation (19). 52 Most realistically, it is the place the family would inhabit if they left the land. Ram n told Sandall he would stay there for a few weeks before returning to the mountains. He would take a job and earn some cash before going back. His mother, on the other hand, was in tears. She would have preferred to go with Cinquemani to New York. 53 The film leaves the family here at the beginning of a new and unknown chapter. Sandall s work there, however, was completed.

1 . F. Roger Sandall, Ma z: A Production History (unpublished master of fine arts manuscript, Columbia University, 1962), 15.
2 . Sergei Eisenstein (along with Grigori Alexandrov and Edouard Tiss ) shot the footage for Que Viva Mexico! in 1932 and 1933. Relations with the American producer, Upton Sinclair, however, broke down, and Eisenstein was recalled to the Soviet Union. Alexandrov cut a version of the film released in 1979.
3 . Sandall, Ma z, 1. From here, I will insert page numbers in the text when citing this production history, generally at the end of a paragraph.
4 . He took a Bell and Howell 70 DL, and normal, wide-angle, and telephoto lenses.
5 . Farrebique was directed by Georges Rouquier and produced by tienne Lallier in 1946.
6 . Robert Flaherty directed Louisiana Story (1948), which focuses on a Cajun boy living on a Louisiana bayou, into whose life and world the Standard Oil Company comes. (See chapter 2.) The Great Adventure (1953) was directed by Arne Sucksdorff. It focuses on two boys and their relationship with animals and their natural environment. Both directors are considered among the best documentary filmmakers ever.
7 . David MacDougall s chapter, Films of Childhood, in The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and The Senses is worth reading in relation to some of these issues.
8 . See too Jean Rouch s Narration, Subtitles, Music, in The Camera and Man, Steven Feld s and Marielle Delorme s translation of Rouch s La cam ra et les hommes, in Jean Rouch, Cin -Ethnography , ed. and trans. Steven Feld (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), 40-43.
9 . See Ma z: A Production History, Appendix A, 34.
10 . Miyazaki said this in the documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness , written and directed by Mami Sunada, 2013.
11 . Along with Cavell s The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film , enlarged ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), xvi, see his What Becomes of Things on Film? Philosophy and Literature 2 (Fall 1978): 249-57. For some earlier essays on the phenomenon, see Richard Abel, ed., French Film Theory and Criticism : A History/Anthology , 2 vols., 1907-39 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988).
12 . Cavell, The World Viewed , 37.
13 . B la Bal zs, Theory of The Film: Character and Growth of a New Art , trans. Edith Bone (New York: Dover, 1970), 24-25.
14 . See Edgar Morin, The Cinema, or The Imaginary Man: An Essay in Sociological Anthropology , trans. Lorraine Mortimer (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005). The original 1956 edition of Morin s book was Le Cin ma ou l homme imaginaire: essai d anthropologie (Paris: ditions de Minuit). My English translation was made from the 1978 reedition. Sartre s L Imaginaire: Psychologie ph nom nologique de l imagination (Paris: NRF Editions Gallimard, 1940) was first translated into English as The Psychology of Imagination (New York: Philosophical Library, 1948). Now that the notion of the imaginary has come into English philosophical/anthropological discourse, the book has appeared as The Imaginary: A Phenomenological Psychology of the Imagination , trans. Jonathan Webber, as revised by Arlette Elkaim-Sartre (London: Routledge, 2004).
15 . Epstein in Morin, The Cinema , 67.
16 . Clair in Morin, The Cinema , 66.
17 . Morin, The Cinema , 70, emphasis in original.
18 . Ibid., 108-9.
19 . Ibid., 111. In quoting Morin here, I have slightly improved upon my own published translation.
20 . Ibid., 183.
21 . Ibid., 183-84.
22 . Ibid., 181-82.
23 . See Edgar Morin, Mes d mons (Paris: ditions Stock, 1994), 27, my translation.
24 . Edgar Morin, Introduction la pens e complexe , (Paris: ESF, 1990), 155-56, my translation.
25 . Ibid., 156.
26 . Edgar Morin, Pour sortir du vingti me si cle (Paris: Fernand Nathan, 1981), 282, Morin s emphasis and my translation. Morin acknowledges the work of Frankfurt school theorists in this area.
27 . See MacDougall, The Corporeal Image , 22-23. Ortega y Gasset s point was found in Gilberto Perez s The Material Ghost: Films and Their Medium (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1998).
28 . In Stars (London: British Film Institute, 1980), Richard Dyer made this argument, particularly in relation to strong female characters in old Hollywood films, where despite the women having to step down to marry their romantic partner at the end, the power they emanated throughout the film remains.
29 . See, for example, Sandall s Notes from a Mexican Summer, in Landfall 14, no. 3 (Summer, September 1960), which he later regarded as typical tourist writing and now altogether too precious. He is nevertheless grappling with issues of power, history, romanticism, and empirical reality there. His sardonic humor is also evident.
30 . MacDougall, The Corporeal Image , 230.
31 . Ibid.
32 . Ibid., 231.
33 . See Lila Abu-Lughod, Writing Against Culture, 1991, , 473-74 (accessed May 21, 2014).
34 . Abu-Lughod is quoting Dorothy Smith in The Everyday World as Problematic (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1987), 474.
35 . Ibid.
36 . See Michael Jackson, Existential Anthropology: Events, Exigencies and Effects (New York: Berghahn, 2005).
37 . Ibid., xxviii.
38 . Ibid., xxix.
39 . Ibid.
40 . See Aldous Huxley, Beyond the Mexique Bay (New York: First Vintage Edition, 1960).
41 . See Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes, El Indio , trans. Anita Brenner (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1937).
42 . Two examples of what I call the attempt to decolonize their thinking, rehearsing guilt but attempting to both acknowledge the positive in anthropology (and individual anthropologists) and build on that, can be found in Abu-Lughod here and more recently, Bruce Kapferer, How Anthropologists Think: Configurations of the Exotic, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19 (2013): 813-16.
43 . See, for just a few examples, Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture , trans. Janet Lloyd (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013); Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013); and Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern , trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
44 . Bruno Latour, Moderniser ou cologiser: A la recherche de la septi me Cit , cologie politique no. 13 (1995): 5-27, , 17-18 (accessed July 30, 2014), my translation. This essay is also available in an English version, To Modernize or to Ecologize? That s the Question, in Noel Castree and Bruce Willems-Braun, eds., Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millenium (London: Routledge, 1998).
45 . Latour, Moderniser ou cologiser, 19, my translation.
46 . Ibid., 18-20. See also Christopher Stone s Should Trees Have Standing?-Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects, Southern California Law Review 45 (1972): 450-501; Ariel K. Salleh, Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx, and the Postmodern (London: Zed Books, 1997, and anniversary ed., 2017, with the University of Chicago Press); and Stone s more recent Should Trees Have Standing? Law, Morality, and the Environment (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).
47 . See Philippe Descola, Pourquoi les Indiens d Amazonie n ont-ils pas domestiqu le p cari? G n alogie des objets et anthropologie de l objectivation, in Bruno Latour and Pierre Lemonnier, De la pr histoire aux missiles balistiques. L Intelligence sociale des techniques (Paris: La D couverte, 1994), 329-44.
48 . Nicolas Peterson, Is the Aboriginal Landscape Sentient? Animism, the New Animism and the Warlpiri, Oceania 81, no. 2 (July 2011): 167-79.
49 . Edgar Morin, L homme et la mort dans l histoire (Paris: Corr a, 1951).
50 . Edgar Morin, with A. B. Kern, Terre-Patrie (Paris: ditions du Seuil, 1996), 65-66, my translation. The English-language version is Homeland Earth: A Manifesto for the New Millenium , trans. S. M. Kelly and R. LaPointe (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton, 1999).
51 . Horse opera was an old name for westerns.
52 . Bu uel s early Mexican film, Los Olvidados (1950, The Forgotten Ones ), is now a classic of world cinema.
53 . Fifty years later, the Australian commentator Keith Windschuttle (drawing on interviews with Sandall in the period leading to his death) said that the poor peasant farmer the anthropologists chose as their central character told Sandall that he wanted help to get the papers he needed to emigrate to the USA where ordinary people lived prosperously and well, without the prevailing local corruption that kept him in poverty. See Windschuttle s obituary Roger Sandall (1933-2012), Quadrant 56, no. 10 (October 2012): 6. As a self-conscious right-wing spokesperson, Windschuttle has an ax to grind. Perhaps the elderly Sandall (who wasn t without an ax to grind of his own) did tell him that the experience of filming with the Cinquemanis helped disillusion him about the motives of academics. However, Windschuttle followed up what he said as follows: The anthropologists intended the film to express the fervour of the peasants for a new, bloody Mexican revolution. He then contrasts this with what Ram n, under the cover of darkness, really wanted-the above-mentioned help to get to the United States. But this somewhat cloak-and-dagger, Manichean retelling of how it was on location doesn t say anything about the film that was made. Moreover, anthropologists would have had a hard time suggesting anything about revolutionary bloodletting in a little film focusing on a family and their work to sustain themselves. There is no reason why, at the same time as Ram n loved where he lived, he might not have asked for help to emigrate if it would mean a better, more viable life for himself and his family. Slums on the outskirts of cities throughout the world are full of people who dearly loved the land and so much of their lives back home. The chances are good that the Cinquemanis were a left-wing couple (given the period, the discipline, and reigning paradigms). An internet search suggests Dorothy continued to be active in grassroots democratic, minority, and environmental causes.
The Flahertys, Sandall, and Some Anarchist Anthropology
The 1960s and Sandall s Further Education
When Sandall applied for his job at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in 1965, one of his most illustrious referees was Willard Van Dyke, then the curator of film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, someone with standing in the international film community. Van Dyke was a filmmaker, photographer, teacher, arts administrator, and more. Along with Roger Barlow, Ralph Steiner, Aaron Copland, and Lewis Mumford, he was one of the creators of the classic 1939 film The City . And he had really liked Sandall s film Ma z . 1
Along with that film, Sandall had other sound strings to his bow. He had worked for the North Carolina Film Board with Barlow, a veteran of the US avant-garde and documentary movement, and they had become friends. And while maintaining strong links with Margaret Mead and her anthropological world (and teaching classes on material culture and ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History), his supervisor/teacher in film at Columbia was Cecile Starr, a woman of pivotal importance to avant-garde and social documentary approaches to film in the United States. Starr s background and ongoing life were closely associated with many of the great documentarians and other filmmakers.
While working at the Australian News and Information Bureau during World War II, Starr had been in contact with many associated with the Office of War Information, including talented and experienced refugees. Many had been on the far left in Europe, some had been communists, and they had a great deal of experience, strongly believing that documentary could be a force for positive change. Starr had also known and dealt with people like James Agee, Helen Van Dongen, Hans Richter, and Roberto Rossellini and later had young future filmmakers like Peter Bogdanovich and Brian de Palma as unregistered students in her courses. She had also championed the work of Shirley Clarke, and one of her deserved claims to fame was being one of the founders of the Women s Independent Film Exchange.
Like Starr, Sandall was interested in what could be done on film, or what film can do, on expanding the limits of the frame in formal experiments. His review of Atom , a short color film by Francis Thompson for the Atomic Energy Commission, praised it for its wealth of formal experiment yet tight control and its use of multiple screens to create relations across space, time, and conceptual levels. (He contrasted Thompson s use of multiple screens with the use that Abel Gance and Charles Eames had made of them.) And as in Ma z and his later films, he shows his desire for words and imposed meanings not to muddy the filmic, concluding his review: To me, however, the absorbing visual richness of the show reduced the words of the commentary to scarce-heard murmurings at the edge of the mind. With this system used for documentary purposes, words will have to be used with far more restraint than hitherto. 2
Sandall had never wanted to make conventional documentaries, and he was keen to make his own films. In his time at Columbia, he had not only gotten a good education in the classics of film but had been excited by the pioneering work of John Marshall, Tim Asch, Richard Leacock, and D. A. Pennebaker, who had taken advantage of techniques in film and sound recording that enabled a different kind of filmmaking to be done. Earning his living in New York, along with filming and photographing for the North Carolina Film Board, he gained experience editing European feature films for release on the US market. He also subtitled these, working from translations. (He had the opportunity to work on iconic French New Wave films like Jean-Pierre Melville s Le Doulos , 1962; Jean-Luc Godard s Vivre Sa Vie , 1962; and Fran ois Truffaut s La Peau Douce , 1964.) He also got experience editing music for films. It was good and complicated production work that he wouldn t have learned elsewhere, he believed. And as he told the anthropologist/filmmaker Paul Hockings, a job in New York making trailers for feature films gave him crucial experience in honing his editing skills: in two minutes he had to present enough shots from a long film to make it both comprehensible and interesting to potential viewers, to get them hooked, in fact. 3
Sandall maintained communication with several of his American and international friends and colleagues once he came to Australia to work, but the relationship to Cecile Starr is of particular interest here. And while she is of interest and importance in her own right, one of the reasons Starr features here is that I think that her background, way of thinking, teaching, and communicating gelled strongly with Sandall and had real significance for his work. Writing for the Saturday Review of Literature and then teaching at Hunter College before teaching courses on film history and documentary at Columbia from 1955 to 1961, Starr was dedicated to public education and wanted students and teachers across the United States to see thought provoking 16 mm films. In an interview with Deane Williams just a few years ago, she said she became a teacher who made her own rules because she discovered that she was becoming a good spokesperson for the films that [she] cared about and was interested in going into the little corners where good filmmakers were just not known and their films weren t seen. Always independent-minded, she stressed that she had never been a joiner but a doer. Speaking of a period before teaching at Columbia, she told Williams:

I am some kind of an idealist and I believe that if you believe something you should act upon it too. Not by joining something, but by doing something. So I tried to set up a little film society down in [Greenwich] Village where I was living and I hoped that neighborhood people would come and see some of the films that had been shown at the museum . Willard Van Dyke came to one meeting and Frank Beckwith who had worked at the OWI and when I got the job writing every week at the Saturday Review I kept seeing more and more films, I kept meeting more and more people. I was very close to the very active group of film librarians in the public libraries all over the country for about maybe 10 years. This was the center of how films, before television of course, got circulated and how my readers would get to see these films. I was involved in a lot of controversies on both sides of the political fence because I was always looking at the film as being the property of the filmmaker. It didn t matter to me who the sponsor was or what the cause was. 4

A dedicated grassroots person, Starr, when she did her own master s degree in what was called Audiovisual Education, was exposed to a cooperative movement that started in postwar Denmark, where farmers in the dairy industry produced cookies they could sell to the world. She reiterated her convictions:

It was there that I felt again that documentary film opened my mind. The idea of a co-op rather than a competitive market or situation was where I landed where I wasn t in any way a communist or in any way a capitalist. I wasn t in any way interested in the money that my jobs would bring, because they brought me very little, but of the kind of growing that I did from one job to another and the people I met and the films that I saw because I was always an outsider and the film world opened up the whole universe to me and neither of these two sides liked my attitude. Which is, I liked religious films that were about the beauty of nature. I liked communist made films that were about the power co-op in the mid-west. These were all human thoughts that I really enjoyed and I did try to make a distinction, when I was writing, between the film that had something interesting to say, but didn t know how to make a film and the ones that knew how to make a film but were really very muddled about their ideas and then when you got the two things together these were what I thought were the top films. And so I particularly resented the far left for their jealousy and their attacks on Flaherty. 5

Fig. 2.1. Cecile Starr, a teacher who made her own rules. Courtesy of her daughter, Suzanne Boyajian .
Nanook , Starr told Williams, had been the film that most impressed her at the Museum of Modern Art, and as well as being a great defender of the film and the man who made it, she helped Flaherty s widow, Frances, run the Flaherty seminars for years. 6 Starr had married Aram Boyajian, the editor who looked at Sandall s Ma z footage and advised him, but Boyajian was also a writer, producer, director, and poet, and when he got a job with NBC, they spent three years in Paris, going to some of Henri Langlois s programs at the Cin math que Fran aise. Indeed, it was from all these individuals and this rich film cultural heritage that Sandall would benefit. And as he did with Margaret Mead, Sandall remained a friend of Starr s for life.
When Sandall and Starr reviewed Lionel Rogosin s Come Back, Africa (1959) for Film Quarterly , what they wrote was of a piece with Starr s approach and what would be Sandall s own filming philosophy and practice. Influenced by Flaherty and Italian neorealism and proceeding along tracks shared by Jean Rouch and his ethnofictions, Rogosin had dramatized a story around a central protagonist, a young Zulu immigrant, Zachariah, drawing on his and the other antagonists real lives. Sandall and Starr recognized Come Back, Africa s sincerity and significance. But beside the powerful reality of what is pictured of black South African lives, they found that when it turned to the dramatization of the effects of the system on Zachariah s life, it was weakened both as film and as argument. They found the effects as pictured banally conceived and melodramatic -the love between the man and his wife even having a touch of Hollywood about the way it was represented. 7
They lauded some of the spontaneous talk in the film, aware that the experimental use of conversational dialogue [was] almost certain to be the major preoccupation of film-makers in the decade ahead. But it didn t sit well in the film s structure as a whole, they argued, opening their review with the following: The film s chief merit lies in its documentary comment: in its vivid picture of the mining company s robot-training of the new men; in its lamp-lit processional through dark subterranean corridors with the miners braced taut against their drills; in its long shots of maintained tailings and the impersonal city towers looming remote beyond; in its spectacle of a joyless lite watching a ragamuffin band of penny-whistle virtuosos; in the vigor of Negro ceremony, dance, and song against a setting of shanty lands and can-littered dumps. To this assessment, they later added: The film barely touches the unique aspects of apartheid life. The pass system, the effect of the Group Areas Act, the curfew, the Negro hostility to liberal whites, all find expression in talk alone. Only one shot-the prophetic closing image of Zachariah s pounding rage-speaks with the force and eloquence which might have characterized the entire film had it been made, for example, by an African Negro working with his fellows or an outsider bringing to the scene a deep understanding of the film medium. 8
Near the end of the review, in relation to some of the spontaneous talk that almost works, they refer to one crucial scene: Here we see a group of Negroes engaged in a prolonged discussion of race, politics, art, and the rest of life as they see it. Although many important points are touched upon, the remote and rambling na vet s in which they are smothered give a portrait of the South African Negro leadership which does disservice to hundreds of men now shut in Verwoerd s jails. 9 By using Sandall s and Starr s own words, I m wanting to convey here the grassroots-upward conception of what they want of such a social document and their desire to be maximally true to people s lives and situations.
I trust the people who wrote this review, as did the contemporary Johannesburg-based writer Litheko Modisane when he used it in South Africa s Renegade Reels: The Making and Public Lives of Black-Centered Films (2013). In a chapter devoted to the Rogosin film, Modisane describes Sandall and Starr as part of the US avant-garde of film thought and practice. He bends what they say to his purposes when he suggests that they directly criticize the Sophiatown intellectuals embrace of rational debate and accept, instead, as forceful and eloquent the prophetic closing image of Zachariah s pounding rage. 10 That wasn t quite their argument, but what Modisane is right about is the value they placed on the honest social document, black-centered indeed, about those human beings whose lives were diminished and often destroyed by a regime where they were treated as less than fully human.
On a very different note, Sandall s treatment of Antonioni s L Avventura (1960) is particularly interesting. It shows a keen appreciation of Antonioni s gift for the filmic, his situating characters in weather and landscape, and his use of sound other than dialogue. Sandall is attuned to the director s leading ideas : the pervasive impermanence of the modern world, and the failure of traditional morality to adapt to this state of affairs ; the ceaseless material change, general impermanence, and corrosive eroticism to which contemporary people condemn themselves. Solidarity or communality are not an issue in the world of L Avventura , the first of what has been called Antonioni s trilogy on modernity and its discontents. 11 As Sandall says, Even when they coalesce into groups these people are separated by a profound mutual indifference. It is not that they cannot communicate: they can-but they have nothing to say, or to give. Their relation both to each other and to the world is exploitative. 12 Antonioni had made semidocumentary studies of the lives of ordinary people, and Sandall notes that he didn t indulge or sentimentalize the Italian poor: they thieve, and riot, and leer. But compared with the rich, he does find their emotional life less aimless and devitalized. 13
It was Rouch, Sandall believed, who probably gave us the best illustrations of ordinary people s lives, making the first known film where a black African spoke for himself, in Moi, un Noir (1958), showing that he could listen to people as well as experiment with willing volunteers. In La Pyramide Humaine (1961) socially estranged black and white high school students are encouraged to feel and to think in new circumstances, as Rouch seeks to break down the barriers of race. This breaking down results in danger and psychodrama, but also, writes Sandall, rivalries set off arguments, arguments lead to group discussions, and each student is forced to examine, defend, and modify his racial ideas. The mutual understanding this brings is partial, but genuine. 14 And this was precisely the kind of understanding Rouch himself, along with Starr and Sandall, believed that Robert Flaherty s films could contribute to.

Matter, Spirit, and Team Flaherty
There is something poetic about the fact that Robert Flaherty is dead but cannot be buried, that his films have been discredited and surpassed yet shine on and inspire. Not only did Sandall see himself as highly indebted to this Irish American who made films for the general public, but so did Georges Rouquier, whose Farrebique (1946) was in some ways a model for Ma z . In later chapters, we will also learn more of Flaherty s importance to the filmmaker David MacDougall, who is for me the most important writer on ethnographic film today. And for Jean Rouch, Flaherty, along with Dziga Vertov, was one of the inventors of ethnographic film, a genius, and a geographer-explorer who was doing ethnography without knowing it. In accordance with his own practice and convictions, Rouch saw Flaherty focus on a particular Eskimo, an individual, in Nanook of the North (1922). When Flaherty showed his footage to Nanook and others, he was inventing, at that very instant, participant observation (a concept still used by ethnographers and sociologists fifty years later) and feedback (an idea with which we are just now clumsily experimenting). 15 Luc de Heusch says he witnessed the birth of visual anthropology at Rouch s side at the Mus e de L Homme in 1955, at an encounter with a handful of French, Belgian, and English ethnographer-filmmakers. One of the films chosen for all to see was Nanook -Flaherty being elected as the spiritual father of [their] common passion. Then in the wake of the Cin ma du R el Festival, the Nanook Award for the best ethnographic film was awarded. 16
These people were far from na ve. Having set up the Comit international du film ethnographique, when de Heusch was invited to take charge of the Belgian Congo Pavilion at the 1958 World s Fair in Brussels and the chosen conference theme was The Cinema and Sub-Saharan Africa, he tells us, Naturally, I invited many friends hostile to the colonial project and especially to the official propaganda films, as well as to those characterized as educational (but which were above all moralistic), produced by Catholic missionaries in Belgian Central Africa. Jean Rouch wrote a statement that perfectly defined the position of the ethnographer-filmmaker in the field during the colonial period, trapped between two clashing worlds. He courageously held that ethnographic cinema must bring about a demystification, fed as it was solely by truth. 17
Like Sandall s and Flaherty s other admirers, de Heusch and Rouch knew well the fabrications involved in Flaherty s various films, but these are well documented, and this chapter is not the place for another rehashing of them. 18 Indeed, de Heusch notes that already at the abovementioned festival, before a small audience as impassioned as ourselves, most of the themes that were to feed the interminable debates that followed over the next several decades were raised for the first time. 19 I want to touch on a couple of the films themselves and on Frances Flaherty, one of those wives of geniuses who can be sorely underestimated because of the way the conventions of canons and sexism work. And for our purposes, instead of her collaboration with her husband, Robert, on the films, it is what she says in interviews with a then young Robert Gardner in 1958 (which I ve quoted extensively in the paragraphs that follow) that is particularly fertile. 20
Mrs. Flaherty stressed what her husband had said before her, that he was an explorer first and only became a filmmaker long after, being nearly forty years old when he made Nanook . He knew his film subject well and loved it, she said, but he didn t know the camera. He d learned to explore but not yet to reveal -and he began his thirty-year research of the motion picture camera. Flaherty brought to filmmaking an explorer s mind and a process of discovery, said Frances. While all art is a kind of exploring, science too is exploration. In the Flaherty films, she says, art and science come together. The process is the same, the search is the same: a search for truth. Gardner s next question is what we might call a million-dollar one, particularly in relation to the controversial nature of the films he himself would go on to make-highly poetic, individual films that still divide anthropologists as to their status as anthropological/ethnographic documents. Gardner asks what sort of search and what sort of truth Flaherty was after. And in Frances Flaherty s answer, it is evident that Flaherty is the team here, herself included (something like Dziga Vertov and the kinoki, who were also a family, a kind of modernist cottage industry). Flaherty was searching for the spirit , Frances said, the spirit of peoples: He made three films all on the same theme: the spirit with which a people comes to terms with its environment.
Those familiar with Robert Flaherty s work will know that he made an earlier film with Inuit people that was destroyed, perhaps fortunately. 21 As Frances says here, Robert said that that film had a great deal of information, but it wasn t what he really wanted. He d lived with people, hunted with them, and shared their hazards for six years, and his reason for making the film had to do with his admiration for the people, who had few material resources yet were the happiest people he d known. Fortunately Nanook survived. And the film worked on the level Flaherty wanted and continues to do so. As Frances put it: When they smile out at us from the screen, we are completely disarmed; we smile back at them. They are themselves. We become ourselves in turn. All that might separate us from these people falls away from us. In spite of the differences between us, perhaps even because of the differences, we feel that we are one with them, and that feeling of oneness can deepen and become that profound and profoundly liberating experience we have, when it comes over us suddenly that we are one with all people and with all things.
Interestingly, just as phoneyness stood out to Sandall once he saw the bridging scenes he d inserted in Ma z , Mrs. Flaherty immediately put in a caveat to her statement above. If a false gesture or a hint of artificiality appeared in the film, separateness reasserted itself. We were once again looking at people, and the experience of oneness is lost. The secret of Nanook , she believed, was people being themselves. It didn t cease to amaze Flaherty that somehow, the camera was a machine for seeing more than the eye could see. There was something mysterious about it seeing better than us movement that betrays emotions, taking us to a new dimension of seeing, so that through the camera s eyes, we rediscover the world around us -we rediscover ourselves. John Grierson, one of the fathers of documentary film, said that no one ever handled a camera more lovingly than Robert Flaherty, Frances noted. His attitude for it was that of a mystic. And this is where the camera and that substance without substance, film, combine themselves with our own human substance (also substantial and insubstantial). Edgar Morin had put it this way two years before: The art of cinema and the industry of film are only the parts that have emerged to our consciousness of a phenomenon we must try to grasp in its fullness. But the submerged part, this obscure obviousness, confounds itself with our own human substance-itself obvious and obscure, like the beat of our heart, the passions of our soul. 22 Evidently, as Frances puts it, the camera can take us out of the verbal world to the nonverbal, out of the world of many meanings into the world of one being, out of the world in which we flounder, enmeshed in the partiality of our words, into that clear, calm, whole world where the spirit is at home and at rest. The poets know this best for it is the barrier between these two worlds that they seek to overcome and cannot quite overcome through words.
In the interview, before showing the beginning of Louisiana Story and reading three Japanese haiku poems, Frances quotes Archibald MacLeish, saying that a poem should be wordless as the flight of birds. It should not mean but be . 23 And she believes it is her husband s childhood being that is remembered in that autobiographical film. As Robert Flaherty had grown up in the wilderness of the Canadian frontier with his mining-prospector father, the little Cajun boy in his pirogue, exploring the mystery and the magic of the Louisiana swamp, might have been Bob himself in his canoe in Canada. Speaking of all the little elements that go to make up the mystery and the magic of that setting, Frances suggests that

those old haiku masters sitting there meditating on the secret meaning of some perfectly ordinary thing were putting together the lines of poems exactly the way a filmmaker puts together the shots in his film. Haiku poetry stems from Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism was dominant in the practice and the thought of both China and Japan in the periods of the greatest art in both those countries. Open any book on Zen Buddhism and it won t be long before you come to an account of the discipline of letting go, the discipline of the surrender of the self to life, which is the discipline we ve been talking about as that of the Flaherty method.

Gardner moves the conversation away from Buddhism, though this phenomenon is back in some anthropology today (even if different vocabularies are used in what are called religious and academic worlds). Notions like mindfulness and interbeing are used by scholars urging a move away from the idea of a sovereign (historically white, male, and Western) lone subject for whom reason is king and a move toward a world in which all is vitally connected. But Gardner s point is not antipathetic when he says that, despite what he presumes to be Robert Flaherty s virtual absence of familiarity with Zen Buddhism, he did manage to surrender to his material and to his camera, did he not? And Frances confirms that this was true, even in Louisiana Story , which was a story and not only a story but a fantasy. A fantasy that as I understand it was commissioned by an American corporation? says Gardner. Yes, says Frances, the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, a corporation and a commission to which we will return.

Fig. 2.2. Joseph Boudreaux in the bayou. Photo courtesy of the Claremont School of Theology. Copyrighted material used by permission .
Frances stresses the way that the people in the Flaherty films had a great deal to teach us. Films like Louisiana Story could bring about a better understanding among all people, and public policy, she believed, could be linked to this role, purposely exposing people to other ways and other peoples who are different from us but also have so much in common with us. From the beginnings of cinema to the present moment, notwithstanding our knowledge and experience of the dire propaganda purposes film can be put to, at amateur and expert levels, this conviction regarding the potential for understanding remains. But let me put the emphasis where Frances Flaherty, Jean Rouch, and others were usually putting it, on what we so-called moderns can learn from so-called primitives in relation to our overall well-being and the question of a people coming to terms with its environment.
In contemporary anthropology, many scholars are preoccupied by both questioning modernity and the reification of the environment, which has gone along with its degradation. Certain taken-for-granted attitudes about nature are no longer viable. At the same time, humans-who are not, after all, infinitely plastic-seem unable to live fully instrumentalized lives: to be reduced to a means and not also an end in themselves (despite some Frankfurt school pronouncements about the commodification of our souls). According to Robert, said Frances, Nanook s problem was how to live with nature. Our problem is how to live with our machines. Nanook found a solution to his problem in his own spirit, as the Polynesians did in theirs. We have made for ourselves an environment that it is difficult for the spirit to come to terms with (my emphasis). Flaherty s final sentence, without jargon or footnotes, could be the unarticulated manifesto of many documentary filmmakers. And it is closely linked to Max Weber s articulation of Tolstoy s existential question, the only question important for us: What shall we do and how shall we live? 24
Closely documenting how people do live-with each other and the elements of their environment, generally fused into a cosmos -has been something anthropologists and our filmmakers devote themselves to. And it is often done with people who seem to have a certain equilibrium of spirit and environment. Ethnodocumentarists also frequently present us with people in our own societies who seem to have carved out some meaningful niche, a way of life where they seem to have some spiritual, creative equilibrium. These individuals are often artists or craftspeople, and as MacDougall put it in chapter 1 , many filmmakers explore the possibility of a special relationship to the material world. 25
Historically, socialist anarchists like Peter Kropotkin and Ursula Le Guin have tended to be very aware of the imbalance in their own societies. It was likely that the hegemony of Marxist modernist theories of society helped keep more ecological analyses offstage and in the wings, while respectable, properly political social science tended to deal with oversocialized conceptions of humans in social/political/cultural environments, neglecting natural ones. 26 Ecofeminists like Ariel Salleh highlight the way that one of the obvious answers to What should we do and how shall we live? relates to maintenance -looking after and caring for each other and our environment is one necessary imperative for a viable and ethical life. As Salleh stresses, most women s work around the world still involves this maintenance activity, and as Marilyn Waring says, this activity is often not counted as work. It is certainly not regarded as productive. 27
In his Huxley Lecture at the British Museum at the end of 2011, Bruce Kapferer attempted to reconfigure the exotic and its role in his discipline s study of difference and diversity-and its significance in understanding our common humanity and possibility. In the bad old colonialist days that enabled anthropology to be born, what tended to make it distinctive was precisely its focus on the exotic, on human practices that were largely external or marginal to ruling orders. Kapferer takes pains to note that nothing is intrinsically exotic except through the relations into which it is drawn, and his concern is with anthropology as a practice which engages with the exotic as a methodology for discovery and understanding. He credits L vi-Strauss as the major anthropological figure who epitomizes in his own intellectual journey the anthropological revaluation of the exotic: that is, of peoples and practices at the margins of dominant centres and subject to their political and economic power . Through the mediation of L vi-Strauss s kind of anthropology, the exotic, those disempowered, dismissed, and excluded in the course of the march of progress, are yielded critical place in the general understanding of the human being. 28 L vi-Strauss was not alone. Kapferer notes anthropology s long tradition in marking the exotic of difference with the object of challenging dominant thought. 29 The concentration on stateless societies, in Africa and Aboriginal Australia, for example, is a case in point.
Kapferer discusses certain possibilities that he believes come with film (proceeding via Gilles Deleuze and by making comparisons and contrasts with ritual). While Stanley Cavell wrote of the ontological democracy of all people and things on film, and B la Bal zs about objects being protagonists and having souls, Kapferer writes that on film there is no neat subject/object contrast and [cinema s] actants, to use Bruno Latour s concept, can be material and immaterial, both subjects and objects. Film for Deleuze, says Kapferer,

is not centred in or extensive from the body; indeed, for him, it is founded in the mobile camera, its dynamic of construction likened to that of a body without organs. In many aspects cinema manifests itself as a post-human phenomenon: that is, it is centred not in the human being but in realities that take their form through processes that encompass human beings and, for want of a better expression, are not founded in ordinary embodied human perception. The filmic opens to perception that which cannot be directly sensed from the ordinary positioning of the human being . Thus the audience can become continuously and differentially consubstantial with the screen action so that aesthetic distancing and reflexive distancing are radically reduced (audiences are in the motion of the film as they might be in the motion of music which is vital in film). This is so to such an extent that occasionally the audience-even despite their resistance (in a melodramatic movie, for example)-are absorbed thoroughly into the dynamic motion/emotion of the action. 30

While I am glad to see a prominent anthropologist taking seriously the experiential and epistemological role of film, Morin s The Cinema, or The Imaginary Man , published over fifty years before this, was filled with such examples of the audience in the action or becoming the action. It is a pity that such notions, written about so well by early poets, filmmakers, and scholars, have taken so long to enter anthropological thinking. (Deleuze and Guattari s body without organs originally came from Antonin Artaud, of course, as their lines of flight came from Virginia Wolfe-once again, the artists provided metaphors for our living experience in the world, metaphors with explanatory, not merely decorative, power.)
Let me also express my problems with the notion of the post-human used here, since it so evidently depends on what version of the human we subscribe to. If it is the enlightened individual white male subject of European civilization that is only considered human, yes, we might want to go post. But other versions of the human have always coincided with this and continue to do so . Knowledge that we are also our environment, that the isolated cogito never ruled us or the world, has also coexisted with delusions of mastery. Kalpana Ram s discussion of what phenomenology can offer anthropology might be helpful here concerning method and the importance of emotion in relation to understanding. The reorientation that the fieldworker needs to undergo to participate in a new society can be related to the way we participate in film. She writes: The phenomenology of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty strongly supports a move away from exclusive reliance on dialogue, but also on any method that preconceives human existence as consisting entirely of talking. Their phenomenology offers fresh support to anthropology s invocation of participation, providing participation with a fleshly basis. It also supports the characteristic diffuseness of participant observation as a method. 31 Participation is a key term here, whether we re talking of involvement in other societies or film. When the audience becomes part of the action by being absorbed in Kapferer s description, we might also consider audience members diving into the world they are presented with. The spectator as agent and the body that still has its organs are there in the audience, choosing to participate in the film.
Kapferer goes on: Effectively, cinema overcomes the limitations of ritual and virtually creates the real or, rather, constitutes the realities of its experiencing through a distinct technologically wrought poiesis. There is the suggestion in Deleuze that cinematographers in their pragmatism-in their concern to solve immediate problems at hand rather than intellectual abstractions-have hit upon how indeed realities form in and around human beings. In this way cinema is able to create a semblance of lived experience, or the way human beings realize their realities, even in the extraordinary of its action. 32 The paradox of this technologically wrought poiesis had been expressed well by the likes of Jean Epstein, Morin, and others, as through film we had a world where all is connected and it is impossible to hierarchize one element over another, the human being neither isolated nor sovereign but always already in the world and linked with others, whether consciously or not. 33 And there are surely more spaces between sheer pragmatism and intellectual abstraction than Kapferer allows. Siegfried Kracauer s Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality eloquently presented the notions of camera-reality, of film seizing on the flow of life. Yet as Ernest Callenbach, reviewing Kracauer noted, artful choices are in fact made by directors, who consciously use strategies to order the indefinitely extended world with its visible and not so visible links. 34 The form chosen to put parts together is no accident, yet no formula can differentiate and apportion credit between what is captured without really trying and what is captured by an individual with a vision who handles the equipment, edits, and so forth. Something of crucial importance, however, is the fact that films construct their arguments physically, out of their primary data, as MacDougall says. 35
MacDougall s essay The Body in Cinema is worth reading in relation to these issues, going back as it does beyond Deleuze to B la Bal zs and Hugo M nsterburg in 1916. 36 Kapferer wrote that as a post-human phenomenon, for Deleuze, film was not extensive from the body. MacDougall, by contrast, suggests that for all the avant-gardists descriptions of the camera s mechanical autonomy, they sound suspiciously like the experiencing body of the filmmaker and perhaps his or her desire to overflow the bounds of their self-containment. I like the way he puts it when he says that the filmmaker makes nothing in an obvious sense but conducts an activity in conjunction with the living world. 37 Both an erosion of boundaries and some kind of bonding occur in what we call documentary and fiction.
MacDougall discusses the way that people s involvement in film is as much corporeal as psychological. He quotes Gilberto Perez s The Material Ghost to argue that presence is not an illusion in the movies, but rather (adopting Andr Bazin s expression) a hallucination that is true in its effects. And he reminds us that for Bazin, art is a lifeline between the physical world and our physical selves. 38 I quote all this precisely to try to bring back matter , human and nonhuman, into our picture, as anthropology concentrates on the conceptual, too often removing it from our pictures and taking it for granted as so much modernist theory did. (In The Gift , however, Marcel Mauss had famously written that everything moves back and forth as if there were constant exchange of spiritual matter, comprising things and people, between clans and individuals, across ranks, sexes, and generations. 39 )
Film allows matter to live, so we can contemplate, appreciate, and engage with the precious forms it takes-all, like us, ephemeral; all doomed to perish (at least in their present incarnations). As I am not the first to suggest, there is a certain poignancy to our film participation-as though in any piece of film projected, death, which we know is certain, is for a short time stopped in its tracks. Is it possible that the suspicion of matter caught and reanimated on the screen has something to do with the fact that in the end, matter does break down and betray us, the ephemeral nature of beings and things we hold dear being a given that we find too hard to acknowledge?
Let us come back down to earth, however, to Flaherty s fantasy commissioned by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Frances Flaherty tells Gardner that the company wanted a classic, a permanent artistic record of the contribution that the oil industry had made to civilization. They wanted a film that would present the story of oil with the dignity and epic sweep that it deserved, clearly indicating their recognition of the power of film as an art. They also wanted an absorbing human story, she said, that would stand on its own two feet as entertainment anywhere and could be distributed theatrically at home and abroad. 40 The scenes of the working men and the machines in Louisiana Story are a pleasure to watch. The men we see welcome and engage with the local Cajun boy. In their everyday life, they re probably decent working men. But the fit between local life (all local life, including vegetation, water, soil, animals, marine life, and humans) and the civilization that oil industries seeking the maximization of profit have brought is indeed a fantasy, with tragic ongoing consequences-all over the world to this very moment.
Having worked with the Flahertys on Louisiana Story and staunchly defended their integrity until the time of his own death, Richard Leacock told a wonderful little story about some of his and Robert s adventures in relation to the oil company. He is referring to Flaherty s original script, and it is telling about the company itself:

It is ironic that a major sequence in that script that is not in the film is a visual fantasy of the giant oil refinery at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where we spent many weeks during the winter, filming what we liked best about this huge, non-human, incomprehensible and perhaps magical monster. Pipes, weirdly shaped retorts, flames flickering in the lowering sky, hardly a human figure to be seen. A magnificently beautiful sequence that, when shown to our sponsors from Standard Oil, sent them into shock! It seemed that we had given our loving attention to just about every detail that was and is illegal in a refinery. 41

The nightmare of the 2010 oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico is an ongoing testament to illegalities and the inevitable cutting of corners when (mega)profit is the determining factor for enterprise. And civilization has little to do with it.
Alternative Realms and Alternative Pathways
While historically anthropology was enabled by colonialism and thus implicated in it, as Kapferer said, many anthropologists were strongly critical, like those in the Manchester tradition of Max Gluckman with which [he was] proud to be associated. 42 In the Australian context, Gillian Cowlishaw has contended that through the first half of the twentieth century, anthropology s practices and explicit arguments contradicted standard conceptions of backward savages, and that ethnography employed fundamentally anti-racist, anti-colonial and even anti-state frameworks. And she wants to counter a popular hubris that takes pleasure in its own enlightenment by remaining ignorant of the past, asking what has been lost when new generations of Australian students [Indigenous and non-Indigenous] can learn nothing of the genius of small-scale social organisation, linguistic complexity and Indigenous ontologies? 43
Taking pains to clarify that she isn t wanting to relieve particular anthropologists or the discipline as a whole from complicity in colonial schemes and structures, she stresses that there is a postcolonial fantasy that wants to achieve redemptive virtue by condemning the past rather than understanding the complex political and social legacy that colonialism created and bestowed on us all. Ethnographers, however, in contrast to many others, usually sought an understanding of peoples in their own conditions and on their own terms and showed that there was nothing normal or natural about any particular social arrangement, whether a language or philosophical belief, a family grouping, an economic system or a form of politics. Early anthropological studies greatly expanded conceptions of human ways of being in the world by offering comparisons between Europeans self-acclaimed civilisation and a range of other social arrangements. 44 Postcolonial aspirations, on the other hand, have discarded the baby of classical ethnographic research with the bathwater of the colonial legacy. The heart of that discarded baby continues to beat, for instance in the Gunapipi and Yappaduruwa ceremonies that still today gather hundreds of people across Arnhem Land. Such ceremonial work is concealed from the nation-except when Traditional Owners insist on road closures that annoy emissaries of the state. 45 It is precisely the practice of sharing one s everyday life with others that is part of anthropology s brief. It is the investing of one s own subjectivity in an other social realm beyond one s everyday comfort zone that ideally allows the anthropologist to think outside of the normative discourses of her or his own social realm. 46
As David Graeber has put it, there was something about anthropological thought in particular-its keen awareness of the very range of human possibilities-that gave it an affinity to anarchism from the very beginning. 47 And Brian Morris has written about this elective affinity between anthropology and anarchism. 48 Morris s point is threefold in relation to the affinity he suggests: several anthropologists in our tradition were anarchist leaning; thinkers in the anarchist tradition often drew upon anthropology to develop their ideas; and while highly stratified imperial states enabled the practice of anthropology, the usual focus of anthropologists themselves (frequently out of step with colonial visions and projects) was on stateless societies. One of the classic texts we read in the 1960s was E. E. Evans-Pritchard s The Nuer , for example, where he suggested the Nuer state might be described as an ordered anarchy. 49
While, as Morris noted, British anthropologists had less connection with anarchism than the French, one of the so-called fathers of British anthropology, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, was an anarchist in his early years. Al Brown was a Birmingham boy who got to Oxford University, and the writings of the process philosopher Alfred North Whitehead and the anarchist Peter Kropotkin were both very important to him. In his student days, he was known as Anarchy Brown. It was when he became something of an intellectual aristocrat that he acquired the hyphenated name A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, said Morris. 50 Around the same time that he changed his name by deed poll, he became the first professor of anthropology in Australia, at the University of Sydney in 1926. If the older Brown didn t talk much about his youthful politics and tended like most structural functionalists to play down issues relating to conflict, power and history, Morris agrees with Tim Ingold that his writings are permeated with a sense that social life is a process. 51 And as Graeber noted, it s probably no coincidence that [Radcliffe-Brown s] main theoretical interest remained the maintenance of social order outside the state. 52 The anarchist anthropologist Ken Maddock also argued that it wasn t only Kropotkin s writings that inspired Radcliffe-Brown but contact with Kropotkin himself. After Radcliffe-Brown s fieldwork in the Andaman Islands, he worked in Western Australia; there will be more of this story in the next chapter, where we deal with Sandall s films made with Aboriginal people, documenting their ceremonies and their vital relationship to land.
Graeber has stressed that the basic principles of anarchism, self-organization, voluntary association, and mutual aid, refer to forms of human behavior that anarchists have assumed to have been around about as long as humanity. The same went for rejection of the state and of all forms of structural violence, inequality, or domination (anarchism literally means without rulers ). And there are records of people making similar arguments in different places throughout history, says Graeber, since we are talking less about a body of theory than an attitude, a faith even, that goes along with the rejection of certain types of social relations and the confidence that certain others would be much better ones on which to build a livable society. 53 There is a practical ethic at the core of anarchism that Graeber elaborates on-cheekily:

It is primarily concerned with forms of practice; it insists, before anything else, that one s means must be consonant with one s ends; one cannot create freedom through authoritarian means; in fact, as much as possible, one must oneself, in one s relations with one s friends and allies, embody the society one wishes to create. This does not square well with operation within the university, perhaps the only Western institution other than the Catholic Church and British monarchy that has survived in much the same form from the Middle Ages, doing intellectual battle at conferences in expensive hotels, and trying to pretend all this somehow furthers revolution. 54

Marcel Mauss-often called the inventor of French anthropology-lived out his principles, says Graeber, managing a consumer coop in Paris for much of his life and constantly writing screeds for socialist newspapers, carrying out projects of research on coops in other countries, and trying to create links between coops in order to build an alternative, anti-capitalist, economy. 55 Unfortunately, English-language writers have lagged behind here in illuminating Mauss s ideas and practice, along with their relevance for our thought and action today. Marcel Fournier s biography, published in 1994, only appeared in an abridged edition in English, and Fournier s student Sylvain Dzimira s Marcel Mauss, savant et politique ( Marcel, Mauss, scholar and political activist ) is yet to be translated. 56 However, we do now have a third translation of Mauss s classic, The Gift , in an expanded edition that returns his essay to its original context alongside works that framed its publication in L Ann e Sociologique in 1923-24, as well as discussing its links with activist anthropology today. 57
Like Graeber, Evans-Pritchard, who had known Mauss, said that he not only wrote about social solidarity and collective sentiments. He expressed them in his own life, and after the large-scale slaughter of the First World War, in the face of loss, he took over the labours of his dead colleagues and the even heavier task of reviving his beloved Ann e , which had ceased publication after 1913. 58 Possible futures for all of us were a major concern of Mauss, and in The Gift , as Bill Maurer puts it, despite the loss that surrounded him and persevering in the face of grief and dread, Mauss seemed to invite us to find options, to pick up every text, to pursue every route, to wander and puzzle through alternative pathways. 59 Near the end of his essay (and Jane Guyer stresses that The Gift is indeed an essay/assay), Mauss himself said that as peoples he had dealt with had had to learn to put down their spears and engage in exchange, we in our so-called civilized world will have to learn how to confront one another without massacring each other and to give to each other without sacrificing [ourselves] to the other. 60
Morris suggests that The Gift was, as well as being one of the foundation texts of anthropology, in some ways an anarchist tract, and Graeber describes it as more than anything, [Mauss s] response to events in Russia-particularly Lenin s New Economic Policy of 1921. 61 The Russian Revolution, wrote Graeber, left Mauss profoundly ambivalent. Exhilarated by the prospect of a real socialist experiment, he was nevertheless outraged by the Bolsheviks systematic use of terror, their suppression of democratic institutions, and most of all by their cynical doctrine that the end justifies the means, which, Mauss concluded, was really just the amoral, rational calculus of the marketplace, slightly transposed. 62 Mauss, stressed Graeber, believed socialism could never be built by state fiat but only gradually, from below, that it was possible to begin building a new society based on mutual aid and self-organization in the shell of the old ; he felt that existing popular practices provided the basis both for a moral critique of capitalism and possible glimpses of what that future society would be like. 63
Some of what strikes a particularly strong chord in me is Graeber s discussion in his section The Anarchist Anthropology That Almost Already Does Exist, much of it applying to class and ways of living, as well as to the cultures of people called natives. Graeber wrote: There is assumed to be an absolute rupture between the world we live in, and the world inhabited by anyone who might be characterized as primitive, tribal, or even as peasants. Anthropologists are not to blame here: we have been trying for decades now to convince the public that there s no such thing as a primitive, that simple societies are not really all that simple, that no one ever existed in timeless isolation, that it makes no sense to speak of some social systems as more or less evolved; but so far, we ve made little headway. 64 What tends to go with taking this absolute rupture as an event is the belief that after evolving from an earlier, primitive state, most of us became modern. Hailing Bruno Latour, Graeber asks:

What if, as a recent title put it, we have never been modern ? What if there never was any fundamental break, and therefore, we are not living in a fundamentally different moral, social, or political universe than the Piaroa or Tiv or rural Malagasy?
There are a million different ways to define modernity. According to some it mainly has to do with science and technology, for others it s a matter of individualism; others, capitalism, or bureaucratic rationality, or alienation, or an ideal of freedom of one sort or another. However they define it, almost everyone agrees that at somewhere in the sixteenth, or seventeenth, or eighteenth centuries, a Great Transformation occurred, that it occurred in Western Europe and its settler colonies, and that because of it, we became modern. And that once we did, we became a fundamentally different sort of creature than anything that had come before.
But what if we kicked this whole apparatus away? What if we blew up the wall? What if we accepted that the people who Columbus or Vasco da Gama discovered on their expeditions were just us? Or certainly, just as much us as Columbus and Vasco da Gama ever were? 65

Playing with the common misconception that anarchism is all about blowing up people and things, Graeber explains that he is referring to the necessity of destroying conceptual walls- the arrogant, unreflecting assumptions which tell us we have nothing in common with 98% of people who ever lived, so we don t really have to think about them. 66
Mauss was interested, Graeber said, in alternative moralities, recognizing that societies without states and markets were the way they were because they actively wished to live that way -something unthinkable to people believing in a god called Progress. He wrote: Mauss demonstrated that in fact, such economies were really gift economies. They were not based on calculation, but on a refusal to calculate; they were rooted in an ethical system which consciously rejected most of what we would consider the basic principles of economics. It was not that they had not yet learned to seek profit through the most efficient means. They would have found the very premise that the point of an economic transaction-at least, one with someone who was not your enemy-was to seek the greatest profit deeply offensive. 67 It was Pierre Clastres, Graeber notes, who was convinced that political anthropologists hadn t completely gotten over the old evolutionist perspectives on the state-as a more sophisticated form of organization than what had come before. Clastres, said Graeber, asked, what if Amazonians were not entirely unaware of what the elementary forms of state power might be like-what it would mean to allow some men to give everyone else orders which could not be questioned, since they were backed up by the threat of force-and were for that very reason determined to ensure such things never came about? What if they considered the fundamental premises of our political science morally objectionable? 68
Like most anarchists, Graeber is not unrealistic about the range of human capacities and the danger of some of these, noting that a component of the uncompromised egalitarianism Clastres attributes to Amazonians can go along with the use of gang rape as a weapon to terrorize women who transgress proper gender roles. Indeed, when Graeber writes of particular existing anarchist-type societies with alternative ethics, he takes pains to mention their imperfect quality, to say that none of them are entirely egalitarian and that there are usually certain key forms of dominance (variable in their nature and intensity)-of men over women, and elders over juniors, for example. All social systems, he wisely acknowledges, are a tangle of contradictions, always to some degree at war with themselves. 69 And he argues that stateless societies we call anarchist are no more unaware of human capacities for greed or vainglory than modern Americans are unaware of human capacities for envy, gluttony, or sloth: they would just find them equally unappealing as the basis for their civilization . 70
Likewise, Morris notes that most anarchists think humans have good and bad tendencies, and it is because they have a realistic rather than a romantic view of human nature that they oppose all forms of coercive authority. Hence, most anarchists have been feminists, spoken out against racism, and defended the autonomy of children, the essential themes of green parties reiterating what anarchists like Kropotkin long ago advocated: a society that is decentralised, equitable, ecological, co-operative, and with flexible institutions. 71 Capitalism, as Graeber writes and its champions acknowledge, has involved and continues to involve destruction:

But that willingness to put considerations of profit above any human concern which drove Europeans to depopulate whole regions of the world in order to place the maximum amount of silver or sugar on the market was certainly something else. It seems to me it deserves a name of its own. For this reason it seems better to me to continue to define capitalism as its opponents prefer, as founded on the connection between a wage system and a principle of the never-ending pursuit of profit for its own sake. This in turn makes it possible to argue this was a strange perversion of normal commercial logic which happened to take hold in one, previously rather barbarous, corner of the world and encouraged the inhabitants to engage in what might otherwise have been considered unspeakable forms of behavior. 72

Just two small summations of such unspeakable behavior in the British colonial/Australian context must suffice here. First, an Australian surgeon, H. M. Moran, wrote in 1939: We are still afraid of our own past. The Aborigines we do not like to talk about. We took their land, but then we gave them in exchange the Bible and tuberculosis, with for special bonus alcohol and syphilis. Was it not a fair deal? 73 And Deborah Bird Rose, who worked with the Yarralin people in the Northern Territory wrote in 1992: The conquest of Australia was born in the oppression of the poor and dispossessed in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Those in power assigned the cause of social problems to those who suffered most, and sought to alleviate problems by getting rid of people: transportation to the Antipodes. The aim was not only to displace people, but also massively to control them. Power and terror were key values; in actualising them in a new society the powerful re-created much of the system which had led them to seek penal colonies in the first place. 74
It was to Australia rather than his New Zealand Antipodean home that Sandall came when he secured the position at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in 1965. And it was to film with people who not so long before had lived in those stateless societies about which Kropotkin, Radcliffe-Brown, Brian Morris, and David Graeber wrote. The commitment to some partial but genuine understanding that he had found in the films of Rouch and the creation of social documents that testify and don t betray stayed with him. And a rich and ultimately strange new chapter was to begin.

1 . See James Enyeart, Willard Van Dyke: Changing the World Through Photography and Film (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008).
2 . See Roger Sandall, Atom , in Outside the Frame: New Images, Film Quarterly 14, no. 3 (Spring 1961): 67. See also Cecile Starr, Busby Berkeley and America s Pioneer Abstract Filmmakers , in Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1893-1941 , ed. Bruce Posner, 77-83 (New York: Black Thistle/Anthology Film Archives, 2001).
3 . Personal communication with Paul Hockings.
4 . See Deane Williams, Cecile Starr Interview, Framework 57, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 58-84.
5 . Ibid.
6 . See Patricia R. Zimmermann and Scott MacDonald, The Flaherty: Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017).
7 . See Roger Sandall and Cecile Starr, Review of Come Back, Africa , Film Quarterly 13, no. 4 (Summer 1960): 59.
8 . Ibid.
9 . Ibid.
10 . See Litheko Modisane, South Africa s Renegade Reels: The Making and Public Lives of Black-Centered Films (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 50.
11 . See Roger Sandall, Review of L Avventura , Film Quarterly 14, no. 4 (Summer 1961): 51. La Notte (1961) and L Eclisse (1962) soon followed L Avventura , and the phrasing for the trilogy is Stephan Holden s, in Antonioni s Nothingness and Beauty, New York Times , June 4 2006, (accessed June 12, 2014). See also Roger Sandall, Review of Night and Fog , Film Comment 14, no. 3 (Spring 1961): 43-44; Roger Sandall, Review of Lawrence of Arabia , Film Comment 16, no. 3 (Spring 1963): 56-57.
12 . Sandall, Review of L Avventura , 51.
13 . Ibid., 54.
14 . Roger Sandall, Films by Jean Rouch, Film Quarterly 15, no. 2 (Winter 1961-62): 57.
15 . See Rouch, Cin -Ethnography , 31-32.
16 . See Luc de Heusch, Jean Rouch and the Birth of Visual Anthropology: A Brief History of the Comit international du film ethnographique, Visual Anthropology 20 (2007): 365-67.
17 . Ibid., 374-75.
18 . See, for example, John Grierson, Grierson on Documentary , ed. Forsyth Hardy (London: Faber, 1966); and thirty years later, Fatimah Tobing Rony, Taxidermy and Romantic Ethnography: Roberty Flaherty s Nanook of the North , in The Third Eye: Race, Cinema, and Ethnographic Spectacle (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), 99-126.
19 . See de Heusch, Birth of Visual Anthropology, 367.
20 . See Flaherty and Film, Robert Gardner s three-part interview with Frances Flaherty, on the DVD version of Nanook of the North ( Nanouk l esquimau ), Man of Aran ( L Homme d Aran ), Louisiana Story , and The Land (Paris: ditions Montparnasse, 2006).
21 . See, for example, Paul Rotha s account in Paul Rotha, with Basil Wright, Nanook and the North, Studies in Visual Communication 6, no. 2 (1980): 33-60.
22 . Morin, Cinema , 3.
23 . Frances is quoting from Archibald MacLeish s Ars Poetica.
24 . See Max Weber, Science as a Vocation, in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology , ed. and trans. H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (New York: Galaxy, 1960), 143.
25 . See MacDougall, Corporeal Image , 23.
26 . The oversocialized conception remains, despite Dennis Wrong s wonderful essay, The Oversocialized Conception of Man in Modern Sociology, American Sociological Review 26, no. 2 (April 1961): 183-193. See also The Oversocialized Conception of Man (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1999), where almost forty years on, Wrong argues that there is still a failure to attend to the shortcomings of an oversocialized perspective. There is still neglect of biography, of the motivational depths and complexities of the human heart, and of the somatic, animal roots of our emotional lives (54), he notes.
27 . See Salleh, Ecofeminism as Politics ; and Marilyn Waring, Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), and Three Masquerades: Essays on Equality, Work and Hu(man) Rights (Auckland: Auckland University Press with Bridget Williams Books, 1996).
28 . Bruce Kapferer, How Anthropologists Think: Configurations of the Exotic, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19 (2013): 813-816, 819.
29 . Ibid., 820.
30 . Ibid., 830-31.
31 . See Kalpana Ram, Moods and Methods: Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty on Emotion and Understanding, in Phenomenology and Anthropology: A Sense of Perspective , ed. Kalpana Ram and Chris Houston (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015), 40.
32 . Kapferer, How Anthropologists Think, 831.
33 . Along with The Cinema, or The Imaginary Man , see Morin, L Esprit du temps: Essai sur la culture de masse (Paris: Grasset, 1962).
34 . See Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), and Ernest Callenbach, Review of Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality , Film Quarterly 14, no. 2 (Winter 1960): 57.
35 . David MacDougall, Transcultural Cinema (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998), 68-69.
36 . See B la Bal zs, Theory of the Film . Hugo M nsterberg wrote The Photoplay: A Psychological Study (New York: D. Appleton, 1916).
37 . See MacDougall, Corporeal Image , 27.
38 . Ibid., 25, 13. See also Perez, Material Ghost .
39 . See Marcel Mauss, The Gift: Expanded Edition , ed. and trans. Jane I. Guyer (Chicago: Hau Books, 2016), 75.
40 . Standard Oil bought the film and returned the original negatives and all footage to Flaherty. See The Louisiana Story Study Film , which was directed by George Amberg, prepared and assembled by Nick H. Cominos, in association with Frances H. Flaherty and funded by the University of Minnesota and the Jerome Hill Foundation.
41 . Richard Leacock, On Working with Robert and Frances Flaherty, April 26, 1990, p. 1, file:///Users/Lorraine/Downloads/On%20Working%20With%20Robert%20and%20Frances%20Flaherty%20%20rickyleacock.webarchive (accessed November 23, 2014).
42 . Kapferer, How Anthropologists Think, 815. Kapferer refers us to T. M. S. Evens and D. Handelman, The Manchester School: Practice and Ethnographic Praxis in Anthropology (New York: Berghahn, 2006).
43 . See Gillian Cowlishaw, Friend or Foe? Anthropology s Encounter with Aborigines, Inside Story , August 19, 2015, 2, 6.
44 . Ibid., 2, 3.
45 . Ibid., 5.
46 . Ibid., 9. Cowlishaw s account discusses changes in the 1970s and afterward, when she believes the classical anthropology she is defending was no longer viable and neophytes like her were turning on their disciplinary elders, particularly in relation to issues of social change, political history, and the fact that a majority of Aboriginal people tended to be ignored in the focus on tradition that she is wanting to let people know about.
47 . David Graeber, Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2004), 13.
48 . See Brian Morris, Anthropology and Anarchism: Their Elective Affinity (London: Goldsmiths Anthropology Research Papers, Goldsmith College, University of London, 2005).
49 . See E. E. Evans-Pritchard, The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), 6. In 1940, when the book came out, the Nuer inhabited what was then the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. See Evans-Pritchard, Nuer , Introductory, 1-15.
50 . See Morris, Anarchism and Anthropology , 2.
51 . Ibid.
52 . See Graeber, Fragments , 16.
53 . Ibid., 3-4.
54 . Ibid., 6-7. In 2017, I suspect that Graeber would now have more to say about product delivery and the servitude required of academics in universities than about the expensive hotels and arguments about revolution.
55 . Ibid., 17.
56 . See Marcel Fournier, Marcel Mauss (Paris: Fayard, 1994), and Sylvain Dzimira, Marcel Mauss: Savant et politique (Paris: ditions La D couverte/M.A.U.S.S., 2007). In English, see Fournier s Marcel Mauss: A Biography , trans. Jane Marie Todd (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006).
57 . The first English translation of Mauss s Essai sur le don: Forme et raison de l change dans les soci t s archaiques (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 2007) was The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies , trans. Ian Cunnison, intro. E. E. Evans-Pritchard (London: Cohen West, 1966). The second was The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies , trans. W. D. Halls, foreword by Mary Douglas (London: Routledge Classics, 2002); and the one from which I quoted earlier, that is most relevant for us, is the 2016 Jane Guyer edition, referred to above (note 39). See too this edition s foreword by Bill Maurer, Puzzles and Pathways, and Guyer s Translator s Introduction: The Gift That Keeps on Giving. Whatever the version, the book has widely and rightly been regarded as concerned with better ways to live without destroying each other.
58 . See the introduction to Mauss, The Gift: Forms and Functions , 5-6.
59 . See Maurer s foreword in Mauss, The Gift: Expanded Edition , ix.
60 . See Mauss, The Gift: Expanded Edition , 197.
61 . See Morris, Anthropology and Anarchism , 2; and David Graeber, Give It Away, , August 21, 2000, p. 3, . (accessed April 2, 2015).
62 . Graeber, Give It Away, 4.
63 . Graeber, Fragments , 17-18.
64 . See Ibid., 41.
65 . Ibid., 46. See also Latour, We Have Never Been Modern .
66 . Graeber, Fragments , 47. And see Morris, Anthropology and Anarchism , where he notes that throughout history, some followers of every political and religious creed, including anarchism, have resorted to violence to obtain certain political objectives. Most anarchists, however, have been against violence and terrorism, including lawful state violence, and there has always been a strong link between anarchism and pacifism. Some of the best-known anarchists, such as Tolstoy, De Cleyre, Gandhi and Edward Carpenter, were pacifists (8-9). See also Brian Morris, Anthropology, Ecology, and Anarchism: A Brian Morris Reader (Oakland, CA: PM, 2014).
67 . Graeber, Fragments , 21.
68 . Ibid., 22.
69 . Ibid., 23-24, 30, 35.
70 . Ibid., 24, my emphasis.
71 . Morris, Anthropology and Anarchism , 8-9.
72 . Graeber, Fragments , 50.
73 . Quoted by W. E. H. Stanner in his address After the Dreaming: Whither? to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1972 and published in his White Man Got No Dreaming: Essays 1938-1973 (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1979), 321.
74 . See Deborah Bird Rose, Dingo Makes Us Human: Life and Land in an Australian Aboriginal Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 1. For detailed proof of Bird Rose s contention, see Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore: A History of the Transportation of Convicts to Australia, 1787-1868 (London: Vintage Books, 2003).
The Ritual Films (1966-76)
S PEAKING AT THE A USTRALIAN I NSTITUTE OF A BORIGINAL S TUDIES Ethnographic Film Conference in Canberra in 1978, Ian Dunlop gave an account of the first seventy years of ethnographic filmmaking in Australia. Something he said is particularly significant for us:

All Sandall s ceremonial films are made with unobtrusive professionalism. They are characterized by a commitment to record whole events, both spatially and temporally. Outside of a small band of academics, this extraordinarily rich body of early work by Roger Sandall has remained virtually unknown in Australia because all the films are records of secret ceremonies and cannot be shown publicly. I attended a very private screening of one of Sandall s films in 1976 at Yirrkala in northeast Arnhem Land, where the film was shot. The film was of the Djunguan ceremony in 1966. Besides me, the audience consisted of five or six clan leaders who had been involved in the ceremony-but in fact they were not an audience; they were still participants. As the film started they asked me to turn down the sound and then, with tears rolling down their cheeks, they sang and gently clapped as they relived the ceremony. It was one of the most moving scenes I have ever witnessed. 1

Beginning with just a little nondefinitive or comprehensive history, this chapter will deal with Sandall s filming at the institute, those who participated in the secret sacred rituals and their filming, and how it happened that the rich body of work of which Dunlop spoke can no longer be seen.
Just three years after the Lumi re brothers gave the first public screening of their films in Paris and F lix-Louis Regnault filmed a Wolof woman making pots at the Exposition Ethnographique de l Afrique Occidentale, on Alfred Cort Haddon s Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Strait Islands, north of the Australian mainland, the first known ethnographic footage was shot in the field. 2 Haddon subsequently advised a young Walter Baldwin Spencer, who came to Australia to become the foundation professor of biology at the University of Melbourne, to take film and sound equipment on his field work to Central Australia. So April 4, 1901, should be engraved in the memory of all anthropologist-cineastes, Jean Rouch suggested. It was then that Spencer, having taken his Edison phonograph and new Warwick Cinematograph, filmed a rain ceremony among Aranda people.

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