David & Judith MacDougall (AU)


Born in the United States but living since 1975 in in Canberra, Australia, David and Judith MacDougall trained in filmmaking at UCLA in the late 1960s, married soon after, and have devoted the years since to making more than 20 ethnographic documentaries. If they are generally considered by anthropologists to be the most significant ethnographic filmmakers in the English-speaking world today, their work is less known in the wider documentary field. David MacDougal is also the author of the book Transcultural Cinema, and of several articles including: 'Beyond Observational Cinema', “'Ethnographic Film: Failure and Promise', “'Photo Hierarchicus: Signs and Mirrors in Indian Photography' , and “'Social Aesthetics and The Doon School'”.



(All films codirected by David & Judith MacDougall, unless otherwise noted. Dates: year of filming/year of release.

* Nawi: 1968/1970 David MacDougall, dir. Migration to and life in a cattle camp of the Jie of Uganda. 20 minutes.
* Indians and Chiefs: 1967/1972 Judith MacDougall, dir. Native Americans in Los Angeles. 40 minutes.
* To Live with Herds: 1968/1972 David MacDougall, dir. The impact of development policies upon the pastoral Jie of Uganda during a period of drought. 70 minutes.
* Under the Men's Tree: 1968/1974 David MacDougall, dir. Jie men make leather items while discussing motor cars and other matters. 15 minutes.
* Kenya Boran: 1972/1974 David MacDougall and James Blue, dir. Two boys and their fathers confront social and economic change in northern Kenya. 66 minutes.
* The Wedding Camels: 1974/1977 A wedding among the pastoral Turkana of northwestern Kenya. 108 minutes.
* Good-Bye Old Man: 1975/1977 David MacDougall, dir. A pukumani ceremony of the Tiwi of Melville Island, northern Australia. 70 minutes.
* To Get That Country: 1977/1978 David MacDougall, dir. A film witnessing early moments in the formation of the Northern Land Council, the first legally sanctioned Aboriginal land claims organization in Australia. 70 minutes.
* Lorang's Way: 1974/1979 A Turkana man and the forces that have made him what he is. 70 minutes.
* Familiar Places: 1977/1980 David MacDougall, dir. A white Australian anthropologist accompanies Aboriginal families to map their clan territories in northern Queensland. 53 minutes.
* The House-Opening: 1977/1980 Judith MacDougall, dir. The Aborigines of Aurukun in northern Queensland combine traditional Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island, and European cultural elements in a new ceremony. 45 minutes.
* Takeover: 1978/1980 The state-federal confrontation over Aboriginal rights at Aurukun in March 1978. 90 minutes.
* A Wife Among Wives: 1974/1981 A disputed marriage and an enquiry into marriage and polygamy among the Turkana. 75 minutes.
* Three Horsemen: 1978/1982 An old Aboriginal stockman, his nephew, and his 13-year-old grandnephew on Cape York peninsula, northern Queensland, try to get an old cattle station going again in their traditional clan country. 54 minutes.
* Stockman's Strategy: 1982/1984 An Aboriginal stockman in northern New South Wales trains a young apprentice and discusses his philosophy of teaching and learning. 54 minutes.
* Collum Calling Canberra: 1982/1984 Two Aboriginal men steer their way through the often frustrating processes of official decision-making as they attempt to turn Collum Collum Station into a self-supporting enterprise. 58 minutes.
* Sunny and the Dark Horse: 1982/1986 A family's passion for "picnic racing" in northern New South Wales. 85 minutes.
* A Transfer of Power: 1982/1986 Replacing an old car engine at Collum Collum Station. 22 minutes.
* Link-Up Diary: 1986/1987 David MacDougall, dir. A week in the work of Link-Up, an organization that reunites Australian Aboriginal families forcibly split up under state "welfare" policies. 86 minutes.
* Photo Wallahs: 1988/1991 An encounter with photography and local Indian photographers in Mussoorie, a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. 60 minutes.
* Tempus de Baristas (Time of the Barmen): 1992/1993 David MacDougall, dir. A portrait of three mountain shepherds of Sardinia. 100 minutes.
* Doon School Chronicles: 1997-98/2000 David MacDougall, dir. An intimate study of India's most prestigious boys' boarding school, which since Independence has come to epitomize many aspects of Indian postcoloniality. 140 minutes.
* Diyas: 1997/2000 Judith MacDougall, dir. The "life history" of a diya, a small oil lamp, and the lives of the people who surround it at the time of the Hindu festival of Diwali. 56 minutes.

david.macdougall (at) anu.edu.au

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