Skip to main content


USA / Australia, 1974 (MIFF 1984)

Director: David MacDougall, Judith MacDougall

This is the last film in David and Judith MacDougall's award-winning trilogy."Turkana Conversations". (The two earlier films were "The Wedding Camels" and "Lorang's Way"). It is an inquiry into how the semi-nomadic Turkana of northwestern Kenya view marriage, filmed through a dry and wet season while the MacDougall's waited for the events that are chronicled in "The Wedding Camels" .

Beginning with their first uncertain queries, the film proceeds through the testimony of three remarkable sisters to the gradual unfolding of a marriage being planned in a neighbouring homestead. From the Turkana we begin to learn about the roles and attitudes of women in a society very different from our own: why a woman would want her husband to take a second wife, and how the system of polygamy can be a source of solidarity among women yet at other times ride rough-shod over the feelings of individuals.

The Turkana speak rationally about their choices. They are well aware of the conflicts between individual liberty and communal survival. This film attempts to show how Turkana culture—and by extension human culture—is a living thing, shaped by the people who carry it. In Turkana, with English sub-titles.

See also...

Living Rooms

An experimental narrative concerning two Asian sisters. In the future, as an old woman, Ann is reflecting on her life. The memories flash back in time to major crisis; the 30th birthday party given ... More »

Lou Barlow: Goodnight Unknown

A revealing and intimate glimpse into the creative process of indie rock pioneer Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh and Folk Implosion. ... More »

under the city

After four years hard time in the slammer, Nate Maycott is determined to rebuild his family life and maintain his freedom. He wouldn't have done time at all if he had simply paid off the police like ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director