Dead Birds

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Dead Birds

  • 1963 ----- color ----- 85 min ----- 16mm/vhs
  • A powerful and disturbing film on the Dani, a Neolithic tribe of Western New Guinea, whose cultural obsession is ritual warfare with neighboring clans. It dramatizes the enormous amounts of emotional and physical energy expended in the unceasing battles that give meaning to their otherwise monotonous and grim lives. An oddly festive funeral celebration is shown which dually emphasizes spiritual security for both the murdered boy and his survivors by promising revenge thereby explaining immediate and allegorical meanings to the phrase "dead birds."
  • Topics: (Anthropology: Cultural, Austronesia, Motion Pictures: Documentary)