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Anthropology 121: Film Analysis Paper


Discuss the film in relation to the content covered in the course, including the textbook and posted materials. It will provide evidence of holism (the culture’s logic) and will include a brief reflection on what the specific example can tell us about culture in general (see chapters 1 and 2). No other sources will be used. Word count must be included. Paper will be submitted as a word document on the due date through assignment dropbox on the course eLearn site. Due on December 6, by 6pm. This writing assignment is a film analysis paper. Students are to write an analysis of one of the following four films:

• Bridewealth for a Goddess (2000, 73 minutes)

• Ngat is Dead: Studying Mortuary Traditions (2009, 63 minutes)

• Wodaabe: Disappearing World Series (1983, 51 minutes)

• Changa Revisited (2016, 61 minutes) Links are posted on the Course eLearn site. Each of these films is available to view online through the Capilano University library database Kanopy. The analysis is to discuss the film in relation to the content covered in the course, including the textbook and slides, and content posted on the eLearn site. No other sources are to be used. Students are to work on this paper independently, submitting work that is entirely their own. Students should not waste any of their time looking on-line for information on these films. Doing so will only be a waste of your time. The objective of this analysis paper is to have you link the films with chapters from the text and the posted course material, such as on slides. Nothing on the internet will help you with this. There are multiple reviews of each film on-line but they will not serve you well for this assignment. In regard to relating the films to course content, things to consider include how scenes in the film provide examples of things discussed in the text, including but not restricted to, anthropology and sustainability, ethnographic methods, and the anthropological study of language, subsistence strategies, economic systems, marriage patterns, politics and power, the supernatural, and illness and healing. Each film provides examples of some of these things covered in the textbook and posted slides. It is the job of the student to identify and discuss these examples. The number and kinds of things that link the film to the rest of the course material depends on each film. For example it would be easy to link sustainability (discussed in Chapter 1 of the text) to the film Changa Revisited, but not so easy or possible with the other films. Similarly, it would be simple to relate politics and power in Ngat is Dead, but not so easy or necessarily possible in a different film. The paper should be between 700 and 1000 words. There is no need to cite sources in the paper, unless you are using quotations. Recommended Format:

• Title with your name and student number.

• Write an Introduction of about 100 words stating (i) which film you are reviewing and (ii) that your focus is on relating it to Anthropology 121 course content provided in the textbook and the posted slides. Also provide a brief one or two sentence summary of the film, stating the date it was produced, the length of the film, what the film is about. Also state the date(s) you viewed it on-line. For example: “This paper analyses the film Changa Revisited. The focus of this analysis is on...”

• Write one paragraph each on the topics that link to the course material. For example: “This film links to Chapter 7 of the text, especially the sections on kinship. The scene where … illustrates the concept of…”

• Write a concluding reflection on holism, and what the film reveals about the nature of culture in general. The paper will be evaluated on:

• The quality of the links (making it clear that the film provides examples of specific things in the chapters or slides rather than in general. For example, regarding Ngat is Dead, this means linking to the discussion of the studying rituals and supernaturalism from both the emic and etic perspectives, rather than simply saying the film relates to documenting ritual.

• Identifying good quality, appropriate links to course material.

• Depth and thoughtfulness of reflection on holism, and on the nature of culture in general.

• How well the paper is written (e.g. paragraph and sentence structure, proof reading) Paper will be submitted as a word document on the due date through assignment dropbox on the course eLearn site. 

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