Skip to main content

DEAD BIRDS

USA, 1964 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Robert Gardner

Dead Birds is a film about the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem, high in the moun­tains of Western New Guinea. The Dani have a classic Neolithic culture, being agriculturist practising animal domestication, and utilizing polished tools. They are exceptional in having focussed their energies, ami based their values on an elaborate system of intertribal war- fare and revenge. Neighbouring Dani clans, separated by uncultivated strips of no man's land, engage in frequent formal battles and are constantly on guard against their enemies' less frequent, but more dangerous, raiding parties. When a warrior is killed or when a woman or child loses its life in a raid, the victors celebrate and the victims plan revenge. Each death must be avenged. There is no thought in the Dani world of wars ever ending — without them there would he no way to satisfy the ghosts of the dead.

See also...

RIVERS OF SAND

The people portrayed in the film are called Hamar. They dwell in the thorny scrubland of southwestern Ethiopia, about a hundred miles north of Lake Rudolph, Africa's great inland sea. They are ... More »

TWICE A MAN

The legend of Hippolytus tells of the tortured love a mother, Phaedra, feels for her son. Hippolytus, in remorse, is borne into the sea by horses, where he is drowned. Subsequently, he is reborn in ... More »

Clay

Animated clay forms create a visual variation on Darwin's theory of evolution. ... Diploma of Merit, Edinburgh Festival. ... More »

The Masks

"Mr. Jason Foster, a tired ancient who on this particular Mardi Gras evening will. leave the earth. But before departing he has some things to do, some services to perform, s some debts to pay and ... More »

Help! My Snowman's Burning Down

A man is seated in a bathtub, typing under water — the tub. along with other bathroom fillings, stands on the end of a pier This is his world, but outside intrusions eventually overtake him. A ... More »

The March

A simple moving record of the events of August 28th, 1964 when Americans from all parts of the country came to Washington DC and marched in one of the largest demonstrations for Civil Rights in the ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director