I have taken an interest in a - seemingly irrelevant to anthropologists - controversy over the shooting of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit in New Zealand. The protests were incited by Warner Bros' threats to move the film production to Europe, just because the actor's Union went on strike over employment conditions. This is the story I narrate on my website:
There is, nevertheless, a different angle to the overall debate: this concerns Peter Jackson's reproduction in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of some very familiar European cosmological themes - notably, the battle of good vs. evil, the unjust dislocation and persecution of the Hobbits (hence the allegory of forced migration) and the (all too familiar) Weberian narrative of 'disenchantment' (the end of the mythical era exemplified by the course early folklore/anthropological discourse took towards the end of the nineteenth century).
Such movies are, really, about the politics of community cohesion. Notably, of course, Jackson is a product of New Zealand's urban imaginary (as is Adamson who directed the Narnia series). It is significant that his visual narrative of disenchantment (communicated through Saruman's deforestation of the world and the rise of a military machine) reflects some early Pakeha narratives of Maori heritage Alan Hanson beautifully communicated in the 1980s in his essay in American Anthropologist.