Ethnographic Film Review Guidelines – Cultural Anthropology

Ethnographic Film Review Guidelines – Cultural Anthropology

Film link

1. Make sure your film review is typed!  It will be approximately three pages, or 10 paragraphs.  You may work with one partner.

2. Due on Monday 04/15/15 in class.

3. Make sure you name and describe the culture(s) in the film.  What is the geographic area where the people live? How do the people make their living?  Does the film look recent or old?  Who made the film?

4. What aspect(s) of culture does the film focus on? (Family, marriage, kinship, food procurement, politics, religion, art, childrearing, sexuality, gender?)


Content Description


5. Paragraph 1: Opening paragraph—can start to summarize the film and

give early suggestions about your general view of the film

6. Paragraph 2: Start or continue summary of film. Be sure to mention those

details that made a strong impression on you—either negative or positive.

State why your reaction was positive or negative.

7. Paragraph 3: Briefly compose the descriptive and non-judgmental

message of the film/video. Why would this message be important to an

anthropologist? To you as a student?

8. Paragraph 4 and 5: Positive things you liked about the film, what did you

like? Why? What did you learn that you did not know before? Use

descriptive words, think about the story, setting, effects used, music used.

9. Paragraph 6: Anything (custom, belief, behavior) that strikes you as

strange. Why? Would you say your reaction was ethnocentric? Did the

filmmaker have any biases? How did you know and what were these

biases. What belief, value, custom of your own culture made it difficult to

appreciate the uniqueness of the culture portrayed in the video?

10. Paragraph 7 and 8: Negative things you thought about the film, what

didn’t you like? Why? Comment on the same type of things that you

mentioned in paragraphs 4 and 5.

11. Paragraph 9 and 10: Talk about the people/animals/early ancestors

portrayed in the film. If the film is a biography, did the film present a

multi-dimension approach?

Are key turning points in the person’s life

presented? What are they? What did you like or dislike about how people

and/or the culture/ or subject was presented? What do you think is the

most important thing you learned and why is this important to you? Can

you think of others who would like/dislike the film? Why? Who are they?

12. Paragraph 10: Final comments—General comments that summarize your

view of the film.  After the last paragraph, give the movie/video a star rating out of 5(excellent) to indicate your rating of the film