DER Documentary

Odyssey Series

Odyssey Series

A 17 part series
Produced by Michael Ambrosino
color, 16hrs 42min, 1980-1981



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In an attempt to cut the often esoteric ice of anthropology, PBS released in 1980 the first season of Odyssey, a newly-created series of anthropological documentaries, with a second season in 1981. The entire series was produced by Public Broadcasting Associates of Boston, with major funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Polaroid. Michael Ambrosino is the Executive Producer of the series.

DER carries seventeen of the original Odyssey programs from the first and second seasons. The subject matter of these films ranges from archaeological explorations in coastal Georgia's former slave cabins (Other People's Garbage) to the lives of women in a North Indian village (Dadi's Family). (One film, N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman is part of John Marshall's !Kung Bushmen (Ju/'hoansi) films and can be found cross-listed in that collection.)

Of these, six films treat aspects of archaeology in the Americas: The Chaco Legacy, The Incas, Maya Lords of the Jungle, Myths and the Moundbuilders, Other People's Garbage, and Seeking the First Americans. Underwater archaeology in the Mediterranean is the theme of The Ancient Mariners. The lives and work of two of America's foremost anthropologists are presented in Franz Boas (1858-1942) and Margaret Mead: Taking Note. Ben's Mill and On the Cowboy Trail explore aspects of North American local culture, set respectively in Vermont and southeastern Montana. In Little Injustices: Laura Nader Looks at the Law, we meet another American anthropologist, who is currently studying dispute settlement and consumer complaints in North America and Mexico. Finally, two films bring us to Asia: Dadi's Family, filmed in Northern India, and The Three Worlds of Bali, which complements DER's own series on Indonesia.

[by Toby Alice Volkman]


films in the Odyssey series:
The Ancient Mariners
Ben's Mill
The Chaco Legacy
Dadi's Family
Franz Boas
The Incas
Little Injustices
Maasai Women
Margaret Mead: Taking Note
Maya Lords of the Jungle
Myths and the Moundbuilders
N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman
Ongka's Big Moka
On the Cowboy Trail
Other People's Garbage
Seeking the First Americans
The Three Worlds of Bali



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