Going for Mackerel


tactical skills

How to Cite

Scott, R., Storaas, F., & Perlov, D. (2020). Going for Mackerel. Journal of Anthropological Films, 4(02). https://doi.org/10.15845/jaf.v4i02.2907


The film follows the crew of the Norwegian fishing vessel Havdrøn as they set out for a new season of mackerel fishing, their main source of income. Fishing can be a difficult activity, because of the risks at sea and the instability of the prices on the market. In their attempt to control risk and uncertainty, people turn to magic. The film shows to what extent magical thinking is part of life and the work on board a fishing vessel. In a broader sense, this film challenges our own superstitious ideas and beliefs.  

The film, although independently made, was filmed as a series of two main films ("Going for Mackerel" and "The Cactus League") and a third shorter film ("Magic at Work") that compared the two main films. The focus of the three films was the interplay between magic belief, technology, and organization. The films were made for the California Science Center's main exhibition in 2000-2001 named  “Magic, The Science of Illusion in 2000-2001", and which from 2001-2009, toured the 12 largest cities of the USA.  


Copyright (c) 2020 Rolf Erik Scott, Hans Frode Storaas, Diane Perlov

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