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THE HUNTERS

USA, 1958 (MIFF 1962)

Director: John Marshall, Robert Gardner

This savage and beautiful documentary concerns the Kung Bushmen who scratch a living from the pitiless Kalahari Desert. In one sense the film is already a historical document; The Hunters tells a primitive and dreadful story, one will not find its like anywhere in Africa today. Four tribal huntsmen set out to kill an animal; meat is needed — the tribe is suffering from days on end without food. At last, after three days fruitless searching. a giraffe is sighted. The animal is wounded in the chase but before dying leads the hunters miles away from the camp.

In its approach to capturing the feelings of these people, the reality of each personality and his relationship with the others, the film is lifted far above the level of many films dealing with so-called primitive people. Although their experiences, beliefs, and way of life are far removed from our own, we may yet react, with them, to the excitement of the hunt.

The Hunters received the Robert Flaherty Film Foundation Award and the Gold Medal at Florence, 1959.

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