Balinese Family, A (1951) – dir. Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead

20 min., b&w., no synch sound, but with English voice-over commentary by Margaret Mead, and English inter titles.

Source : ?

This is one of seven films that Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead shot in Bali and New Guinea during their fieldwork there in the years 1936-39. Together they made up a series entitled Character Formation in Different Cultures, which focused mostly on parent-child relations.

By the time that these films were edited – all but one of them in the early 1950s – Mead and Bateson had gone their separate ways both professionally and personally, and the editing was supervised exclusively by Mead, assisted by the editor Josef Bohmer. However, even though Bateson was not involved in the editing, Mead insisted that his name should appear in the credits, and even be put first in accordance with alphabetical principles.

This film, which was the first in the series, follows parent-child interaction in one particular family, the Karma family, over a three year period.



Text : Henley 2013a