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TIDIKAWA AND FRIENDS

Australia, 1972 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Jef Doring

Tidikawa and Friends is a unique document providing the only existing record of the Bedamini iiving in the remote isolation of the Great Papuan Plateau rain forest. Legendary for their aggression and ritual cannibalism, the Bedaminis lead gentle and peaceful lives amongst themselves. Their communal life, its mixture of work and relaxation is always intimate. full of touching, feeling, response and love that contrasts sharply with their traditional cannibalistic raiding, Tidikawa is a spirit medium, artist, hunter fighter and bachelor, who demonstrates the seance technique that enables the Bedamini people to transmit information through the telepathic trance singing. With him as the focus, we are drawn into their gardening, their firelight communion with each other. and with the spirits which lurk and hover in the trees and below the earth. We experience the tragedy of death, as well as the satisfaction of felling giant trees, finishing a longhouse and gathering for an evening meal. The community celebrates the coming of age of seven young male initiates with mock-battle, feasting and night-long music and dancing.

1973 Australian Film Institute Awards - Gold Award.

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