Ethnographic Film Review Guidelines – Cultural Anthropology
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?)
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
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
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