Morning With Asch
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by Jayasinhji Jhala and Lindsey Powell
color, 45 min, 1995
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In the Spring of 1994, Timothy Asch, internationally known and honored filmmaker, was dying of cancer. Educator, anthropologist, and driving force behind the Visual Anthropology Review, he is best known for his groundbraking films on the Yanomamo made with Napoleon Chagnon and the Indonesian films with Patsy Asch, James Fox, E.Douglas Lewis and Linda Connor. His colleague and fellow visual anthropologist, Jayasinhji Jhala visited him at his home in Los Angeles to conduct a video taped interview from which this edited version is the end result. Tim took this opportunity to express his views about his life and work revealing intimate details that give us a perspective not only on this complex individual but on the reality of confronting death.
Jhala, professor of anthropology at Temple University, makes us very much aware of the influence of the filmmaker on the filmed subject and vice versa. Collaboration was a central theme for Tim Asch beginning with anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon and later with the anthropologists mentioned above. He also worked with John Marshall in the late 1960's editing Marshall's !Kung San Bushmen films shot in the 1950's. Excerpts from Asch's films representing each of these periods are woven into the dialogue.
For those who never knew Timothy Asch in life, this interview may point the way to explore the invaluable legacy of his films.
Also, see Visual Anthropology Review, vol.11, number 1, spring 1995, Tribute to Timothy Asch, with articles by Linda Connor and Patsy Asch, Jay Ruby, Nancy C. Lutkehaus, David MacDougall, and more.
Prof. Jhala can also be seen in Remembering John Marshall.
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