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A Wife Among Wives

A Wife Among Wives - Image Produced by Judith MacDougall,David MacDougall.
72 min. Color. 1982.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: Yes
Catalog #: 0023
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Sale Price: $295.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

This, the third and final film in renowned ethnographic filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall's classic Turkana Conversations Trilogy, investigates the views of the Turkana, and especially Turkana women, on marriage and polygyny. As the plans for a marriage in a nearby homestead unfold, the film explores why a Turkana woman would want her husband to take a second (or third) wife, and how the system of polygyny can be a source of solidarity among women while at the same time it may brutally disregard individual feelings.

The Turkana women are well aware of the contradictory problems associated with individual liberty and communal survival. The film admirably demonstrates how Turkana culture -- and, by extension, human culture -- is a living thing, shaped by the people who carry it.

In Turkana, with English subtitles.


"Cannot fail to appeal to a wide audience and to prompt discussions in any teaching situation." -- James Woodburn, Royal Anthropological Institute


  • Royal Anthropological Institute Film Prize, 1980 (best ethnographic film of the past two years)
  • Cinema du Reel Film Festival, Paris, honoree
  • Berlin Film Festival honoree
  • Edinburgh Film Festival honoree
  • Hong Kong Film Festival honoree
  • Festival dei Popoli (Florence, Italy) honoree
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival honoree



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