Vol. 36 No. 4 (2021)
By Emily Hong
This article introduces the “multiply produced film” as a methodology and analytic that highlights the asymmetrical dynamics inherent to collaboration. I draw on (auto)ethnographic material from the making of Get By (2014), a film on worker-community solidarity, to explore collaboration across race, class, and gender in subject matter and method. I situate the multiply produced film within a genealogy that grafts ontological insights from the anthropology of exchange onto the epistemological contributions of feminist, decolonial, and visual anthropologists committed to collaboration. I argue that as a method, collaborative filmmaking has the potential to challenge narrow Western conceptions of autonomy and authorship through shared authority and fluid roles that engender a cascading multivocality that shapes the resulting filmic form. As an analytic, the multiply produced film reveals how collaboration entails a fundamental tension between the gift-like exchanges of solidarity and the outwardly commoditized form (e.g., films, books) produced by such exchanges, raising questions about asymmetries of power, prestige, and accountability.
ethnographic film; collaboration; the gift; feminist epistemology; visual anthropology; decolonizing anthropology; solidarity