“At Low Tide”
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Anna Grimshaw's At Low Tide (2016) follows clamdiggers in coastal Maine who set out daily at low tide. Their work has an unusual beauty that emanates from the ebb and flow of the tide, and shifts of light and wind. The hour-long film explores the choreography of digging and offers an unusual perspective on an aspect of contemporary American working culture.
Professor, Emory University
Anna Grimshaw was trained as an anthropologist at the University of Cambridge. She carried out her doctoral research with communities of Buddhist nuns in the Himalayas. For almost a decade, she worked as a public scholar outside the academy. Most notably, she served as assistant and editor to the Caribbean writer and historian C.L.R. James. Following James's death in 1989, Grimshaw returned to academic anthropology. Visual anthropology is now her primary field of inquiry.
Anna Grimshaw's books include Servants of the Buddha (1992), a remembered ethnography about her fieldwork with Buddhist nuns in Ladakh, and The Ethnographer's Eye: Ways of Seeing in Modern Anthropology (2001), which charts the shifting relationship between vision and knowledge in twentieth-century anthropology. Her Observational Cinema: Anthropology, Film and the Exploration of Social Life (coauthored with Amanda Ravetz) was published in 2009 (Indiana University Press).
In 2013, Anna completed a series of films, Mr Coperthwaite: a life in the Maine Woods. The four films (Spring in Dickinson's Reach, A Summer Task, Autumn's Work and Winter Days) explore the "handmade life" of Bill Coperthwaite. A meditation on time and process, Mr Coperthwaite offers an intimate portrait of a remarkable life -- one shaped by nature, work, poetry and the rhythm of changing seasons. The films are distributed by Berkeley Media.
Anna Grimshaw teaches courses in ethnographic cinema, visual culture, experimental ethnography, and ethnographic filmmaking at Emory University.