RiverRun 2016: The Anthropologist


Katie doesn’t exactly want to be following her mom around the world, especially during Christmas.

The Anthropologist, which follows the mother-daughter duo from Siberia to the south Pacific, tracks the pair over a four-year period beginning when Katie is 14.

“I have great respect for what my mom is doing, but that doesn’t mean I want to be like her,” she says at one point in the film. But it’s their mostly supportive relationship that anchors the piece as the two learn about the ways climate change negatively impacts the lives of poor people worldwide.

The film also features the daughter of famous anthropologist Margaret Mead, which leads to some initial discord in the viewer’s mind because it isn’t exactly clear where the film will focus. With periodic personal details from Mead’s daughter, her role is more than that of an expert commentator but falls far below the focal point of the main pair, creating some confusion. 

But now that you know that, you’ll be able to watch The Anthropologist with no hang-ups, trailing along for meetings with the Navy or hiking for glacial ice in South America. And just as interesting, viewers witness Katie’s growth and transformation with the benefit of her own insight.

The Anthropologist screens on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at A/perture 2.

— Eric Ginsburg