The Hunters

John Marshall
Namibia, USA | 57 Min. | OmeU

THE HUNTERS, an early clas­sic in anthro­po­log­i­cal film, fol­lows the hunt of a giraffe by four men over a five-day period. The film was shot in 1952-53 on the third joint Smith­son­ian-Har­vard Peabody spon­sored Mar­shall family expe­di­tion to Africa to study Ju/‘hoansi, one of the few sur­viv­ing groups that lived by hunt­ing – gath­er­ing. The hunt is por­trayed in a mon­tage of dif­fer­ent hunt­ing scenes cap­tured on film. Although these took place at dif­fer­ent times and in dif­fer­ent places, over­all the sequence reflects the real con­di­tions. The film is an homage to hunt­ing, despite the fact that 80% of the !Kungs’ diet con­sist­ed of plants gath­ered by the women and men. The killed ani­mals were not only a source of much-needed pro­tein; they also pro­vid­ed cloth­ing, sinews, bags, and trade goods. The film does not cor­rect the false belief that the Ju/‘hoansi ter­ri­to­ry was defined by hunt­ing when in fact it was defined by reli­able sources of water and edible plants.