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Shaki - Caitlin Machak


Filmmaker: Caitlin Machak
Status: In Production

In the world of cultural anthropology, there are tales of Napoleon Chagnon: a strong, brash, commanding young anthropologist who was the leading authority on the Yanomamö indigenous tribes of the Amazon rainforest. He asked so many questions the Yanomamö nicknamed him SHAKI: “pesky bee.”

SHAKI explores Chagnon’s account of time amongst the Yanomamö, his kinship theory that evolved, and his struggle to support sociobiology. We will see how his support of this once-controversial branch of science would influence his standing in cultural anthropology, which echoes the clash between science and politics in the twentieth century.