IT’S WORLD ANTHROPOLOGY DAY!!! (Admit it, this one calls for all capital lettering.) And we are very pleased to celebrate by joining – virtually, that is – in the excitement that will spread across twenty-five universities and theaters across the globe. Namely, we refer to the simultaneous screen the documentary THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, followed by a webcast of a Q&A with directors Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger.
THE ANTHROPOLOGIST tells the story of Katie Yegorov-Crate, a thirteen-year-old girl from Fairfax, Virginia, who is carted around the globe by her mother, noted environmental anthropologist Susie Crate. The latter is studying the effects of climate change on centuries-old indigenous communities.
The documentary places the experiences of this scholarly mother-daughter duo in perspective via the experiences of another one: namely Margaret Mead and her daughter Mary Catherine Bateson, now 76. Like Susie Crate, Mead also analyzed how communities confront change, however, the kind of change that results from war and modernity. In the documentary Bateson, who became a renown cultural anthropologist in her own right, provides extraordinary insight into what Susie and Katie discover.
Filmed over the course of five years, THE ANTHROPOLOGIST is a meditation on change, both individual and societal. Susie and Katie work with people in Siberia, the South Pacific, the Andes, and the nearby Chesapeake Bay – all of whom struggle to reconfigure how and where they live. In Siberia, where Susie met Katie’s father while doing research, Katie’s relatives can no longer farm on land they’ve occupied for generations. Consequently the film describes how Katie’s own roots are threatened by the inhospitable soil.
THE ANTHROPOLOGIST premiered at the DOC NYC Film Festival last November, it was screened at COP21 shortly thereafter, and is now playing at film festivals around the world. It is a follow-up to Kramer, Miller, and Newberger’s Sundance hit and Emmy Award nominee THE LINGUISTS.
The documentary has been described as chronicling the surprisingly parallel lives of pioneer Margaret Mead and environmental anthropologist Susie Crate, telling its story cleverly through the perspective of their respective daughters – with the consequence of offering a fresh look not only at the (applications of) anthropology, but also the world. THE ANTHROPOLOGIST pays homage to the discipline of anthropology by combining a uniquely human story with a new take on how to use an ever-evolving science.
If you wish to set up a screening of THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, please contact Daniel A. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy World Anthropology Day Allies!