Following up on Marcus’s seminal article on cinema and ethnography  and weaving together anthropology, film theory and the analysis of four films—from the ethnographic, commercial, art and documentary genres—I argue that cinema can open a democratic and egalitarian space of observation of and interaction with “the other” and that anthropologists should approach their subjects in ways similar to some other filmmakers. But unlike Marcus, who considers films as metaphors of ethnography and advocates a posture of modernist distance, I look for juxtapositions between film and anthropology and, extending the Surrealist notion of “the double” across the fields of politics and aesthetics, I argue for a humanist anthropology, one that celebrates the dual nature of humans and cinema.
About the author
Massimiliano Mollona is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths’ College, London. His work focuses on politico-economic anthropology and film, especially on ideas of participation, labor, class and activism. He has done extensive fieldwork and several film projects in Brazil and the United Kingdom.