Dead Birds (1964)

26 Jan
Director  Gardner, Robert
Producer  McGraw Hill Films
Contributors  Harvard University Film Study Center
Length  84 min
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  Presents an ethnographic cross section of the life and customs of the Dani people of the Baliem Valley in West New Guinea, recording actual events that occurred during the Peabody Museum expedition of 1962
Call # FILM Mc316
Genre  Ethnographic
Rare  No
Online  No
Copyright status  ©McGraw Hill Films (1962)
Physical condition  Good
Oregon-related  No


The sound recorder for this film by the name of Michael Rockefeller disappeared shortly after production while doing field research in Netherlands New Guinea. He was declared legally dead in 1964. This disappearance has been deemed as one of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries. This film is a graphic real-life depiction of a New Guinea tribe that goes through the motions of war, death, agriculture, and traditional ceremony.

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