A Kalahari Family is the product of 50 years of documentation and research among the Ju/'hoansi of Nyae Nyae. For the last ten years, John Marshall, project academic advisors and collaborators have been constructing the series' scripts to weave an accurate and compelling story about struggle and survival in Namibia for ≠Oma Tsamkxao and his extended family. A combination of first person accounts and outside narration, the series' scripts are a synthesis of historical events and personal reflection.
The production team wrote the outside narration for the series with input from academic advisor Robert Gordon, professor of anthropology, University of Vermont. The outside voice places the words and experiences of the characters as articulated in interviews and images within a historical and political context. The words of the Ju/'hoan characters presented throughout the series were extracted from interviews conducted over the last five decades. Between 1978 and 2000, in preparation for A Kalahari Family, over 20 extensive interviews were recorded with the principal Ju/'hoan characters of the series by John Marshall and his crew. The voice of Lorna Marshall in A Far Country was recorded in 1992. Her words were extracted and synthesized from her diaries and field notes compiled during the Marshall expeditions of the 1950s. John Marshall wrote his narration based upon his previous writings and new reflections upon his extensive contact with the Ju/'hoansi that were generated by his experience editing this fifty-year long story.