Strange Beliefs by Bruce Dakowski - Movie Review Example

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In the movie review "Strange Beliefs by Bruce Dakowski" unfamiliar and taboo dogmas, faith in witchcraft and relation to the livestock of the Azande and Nuer tribes are presented not as a form of primitive behavior or irrational beliefs but as the formal African religion adopted by anthropologists…
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Strange Beliefs by Bruce Dakowski
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Download file to see previous pages Conducting fieldworks on extended periods of time is an essential role of anthropologists in order to fully understand the cultural variation of groups of people or ethnicities.  Observing and immersing oneself to a foreign community with very different norms and way of life exposes the viewer to diverse belief, custom, art and cultural realities other than from what they are accustomed. In “Strange Beliefs”, a documentary film produced and directed by Andre Singer and written and presented by Bruce Dakowski, ethnic communities have been discovered and observed by the reputable anthropologist, Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard, and their bizarre philosophies and views were shown to the world. It featured the contributions of Evans-Pritchard to the revolution of the field of anthropology by reestablishing the task of anthropologists to act as interpreters of other cultures.
The first part of the film showed Evans-Pritchard’s explorations on the Azande people of Sudan. Unlike his contemporary colleagues who merely focused on facts and figures, the anthropologist was interested in uncovering the tribe’s ideas and the force that drives their belief systems. Cleary, he was intrigued by the Azande’s strong belief on witchcraft, magic and oracles, and how the community came up with those principles. The Azande regards witchcraft as the primary source of misfortunes and sudden deaths, as Evans-Pritchard quoted, “it is death that answers the riddles to mystical beliefs” (“Strange Beliefs”). Victims of witchcraft are then carried to a witchdoctor who is believed to combat the effects of sorcery using spells and rituals. The devotion that the tribe gives to witchcraft is so intense that they accept whatever happens to the subject is regarded as a commonality and as a fact. Because of the witchdoctor’s power to release a person from illness and demise, he is considered as one of the vital personalities in society. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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