To Live with Herds by Judith and David MacDougall, 1974 (70 min)

This classic, widely acclaimed film on the Jie of Uganda, produced by the renowned ethnographic filmmaking team of David and Judith MacDougall, examines the effects of nation building in pre-Amin Uganda on the seminomadic, pastoral Jie. Much more than an intrinsically interesting historical document, it has achieved classic status among ethnographic films owing to its remarkable success in developing a coherent analytical statement about its subjects' situation, yet at the same time allowing them to speak for themselves about the world as they see and experience it. The film explores life in a traditional Jie homestead during a harsh dry season. The talk and work of adults go on, but there is also hardship and worry, exacerbated by government policies that seem to attack rather than support the values and economic base of Jie society. A mother counts her children; among them is a son she hardly knows who has joined the educated bureaucracy. Later we find him supervising famine relief for his own people in a situation that seems far beyond his control. At the end of the film Logoth, the protector of the homestead, travels to the west to rejoin his herds in an area of relative plenty; at least for the time being his life seems free from official interference.

Le Maitrés Fous (The Mad Masters) by Jean Rouch, 1955 (30 min)

In the bustling African port city of Accra, a burgeoning outpost of the British Empire, young men from the surrounding area find work in a variety of occupations. This is a place of contradictions, symbolized by two parades through the downtown streets, one by the daughters of Jesus, the other by local prostitutes. Some of the young men travel out to the countryside to take part in extraordinary rituals in which they dress up, fall into a trance and perform animal sacrifices. After the ceremony, they return to the city and the normal routine of their lives.

All films in the series.