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Dead Birds

  • Runtime: 1 hr. 25 min.
  • Genres: Anthropology, Culture & Society, Race & Ethnicity, Religions & Belief Systems


Financed by the Netherlands and the Peabody Museum at Harvard, Dead Birds is a 1961 documentary project directed by Robert Gardner. The film follows the life of a New Guinea tribesman and his war-like people called the Dani. It was filmed on-location in the Grand Valley of the Baliem in the mountains of West Irian. The neighboring clans followed a fierce system of battles and revenge. Each death needed to be celebrated, mourned, and avenged. The people believed that war was the only way to satisfy the...more