Judith MacDougall

Judith MacDougall and her husband David MacDougall have been described as “the most significant ethnographic filmmakers in the English-speaking world today.” They have collaborated on many prize-winning films, but have also gone their separate ways to make distinguished films in their own right.

Together they produced the famous “Turkana Conversations” trilogy on semi-nomadic camel herders of northwestern Kenya. One of the films of the trilogy, Lorang’s Way, won the prestigious first prize of Cinéma du Réel in Paris in 1979, and another, The Wedding Camels, the Film Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1980.

The MacDougalls then made a dozen films on indigenous communities in Australia, including Judith’s The House-Opening in 1980. In 1991 their work took a new direction with a film, Photo Wallahs, on photographic practices in an Indian hill town.

Judith went on to make the RAI prize-winning film Diya (2001), an innovative approach to material culture, chronicling the “life history” of small terra cotta oil lamps used in Indian religious ceremonies. She is currently completing a film study of photographic practices in Kunming, southwest China.

The MacDougalls were among the first filmmakers to introduce subtitling of indigenous speech into their films, an innovation that revolutionized visual anthropology. Their films continue to break new ground, both conceptually and cinematically.

Showing all 10 results

  • film_168

    The Art of Regret

    This brilliant and keenly observed documentary, by renowned ethnographic filmmaker Judith MacDougall, explores the digital revolution in China, where photography is known as the “art of regret.”

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  • film_203

    Awareness

    This extraordinarily intimate and illuminating documentary, by renowned ethnographic filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall, continues David's compelling exploration of education and adolescent life in India's Rishi Valley School.

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  • film_45

    Diya

    This innovative ethnographic documentary by renowned filmmaker Judith MacDougall follows the life history of an important cultural object through the everyday experiences of the people who make, sell, and use it.

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  • film_42

    Lorang’s Way (Digitally Remastered Version)

    A portrait of Lorang, the head of the homestead and one of the important senior men of the Turkana. The first part of renowned filmmakers David and Judith Macdougall’s classic “Turkana Conversations Trilogy.”

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  • film_52

    Nawi

    This classic ethnographic documentary, by the renowned filmmaking team of David and Judith MacDougall, explores the nomadic life of the Jie of Uganda.

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  • film_54

    Photo Wallahs

    Renowned ethnographic filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall explore the many meanings of photography in this profound and award-winning documentary set in India.

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  • film_51

    To Live With Herds

    This classic film on the Jie of Uganda, produced by the renowned ethnographic filmmaking team of David and Judith MacDougall, explores life in a traditional Jie homestead during a harsh dry season.

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  • film_53

    Under the Men’s Tree

    At Jie cattle camps in Uganda men often gather under a special tree to make leather and wooden goods and talk, relax, and sleep. This brilliant ethnographic documentary by renowned filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall captures one particularly riveting discussion one afternoon under the men’s tree.

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  • film_43

    The Wedding Camels

    One of Lorang’s daughters is going to marry one of his friends and age-mates, but all does not go smoothly. The second part of renowned filmmakers David and Judith Macdougall’s classic "Turkana Conversations Trilogy."

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  • film_44

    A Wife Among Wives (Digitally Remastered Version)

    This ground-breaking ethnographic documentary investiges the views of the Turkana, and especially Turkana women, on marriage and polygyny. The third and final part of renowned filmmakers David and Judith Macdougall’s classic “Turkana Conversations Trilogy.”

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