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Recent films of David and Judith MacDougall
Paul Henley

As originally conceived by Colin Young and subsequently worked out in practice by David and Judith MacDougall and various other film-makers, the praxis of Observational Cinema in its classical form involved very much more than observation: not only was it a particular ‘way of seeing’, it was also a particular ‘way of doing’ ethnographic film-making. Central to this praxis, as described in earlier chapters, was a collaborative relationship with the subjects, the adoption of an ‘unprivileged’ perspective in both shooting and editing, and a low

in Beyond observation
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Beyond the burden of the real
Paul Henley

As an Author of ethnographic films, Robert Gardner developed a praxis that was not only very different from that of Jean Rouch but also one that was at odds with some of the central tenets of contemporary anthropology as an academic discipline. The ultimate purpose of his film-making was not so much to discover what other ways of life might mean to those who lived them but rather to explore what those ways of life signified for him personally in existential or aesthetic terms. In sharp contrast to Rouch who returned faithfully to West Africa

in Beyond observation