Forum The Arts

Breaking the Princess Complex: A visual anthropologist’s take on George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

"I think Fury Road is a timely and groundbreaking work of fiction, expanding on the roles of women in film, and questioning the effects of war on women."

I have been a documentary filmmaker for almost 10 years, but I have loved film my whole life. Born in Los Angeles to filmmakers, cinema is in my blood. I make observational cinema that examines daily life of women and girls, using anthropological methods of research & production. While documentary is my speciality, I love fiction film, 3rd world cinema, television and new media. Anthropologists have always been interested in visual documentation. Margaret Mead, Jean Rouche, and David MacDougall have explored ethnography through photography and observational cinema. Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North blurred the lines between documentary and fiction. As the relationship between ethnography and cinema grew, anthropologists began to examine the constructs and impacts of cinema on society itself. Film can often reflect popular cultural notions of origin, folklore, gender and ethnic constructs. Through analysing the narrative, film production, distribution and the time and place in which a film is made, social sciences can gain a unique insight into the concerns of contemporary society.

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