In September, 1959, six Europeans leave Cook's Bay on the southern coast of Dutch New Guinea, now West Papua or Irian Jaya, to trek north to the far side of the island. The journey (450 ... See full summary »
A documentary on the amazing life of Helen Keller, in 1882, aged 19 months she fell ill with what was termed "brain fever" (now believed to be scarlet fever or meningitis) which left her ... See full summary »
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they ... See full summary »
Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour ... See full summary »
The acclaimed poet is examined in this film completed just prior to his death at age 88, with his speaking engagements at Amherst and Sarah Lawrence Colleges intercut with studies of his ... See full summary »
John F. Kennedy,
This 47-minute documentary, financed by HRH's government, won an Oscar in the special category, and most of it was later edited into a 1953 two-segment documentary called "Savage World" by ... See full summary »
This documentary, filmed entirely by military photographers, recounts the U.S. Navy's 1946-47 expedition to Antarctica, known as Operation High Jump. The expedition was under the overall ... See full summary »
An Academy Award winner for best documentary, the film opens with a notice that..."Exhibition of confiscated Japanese film material authorized by permission of the Alien Property Custodian ... See full summary »
In September, 1959, six Europeans leave Cook's Bay on the southern coast of Dutch New Guinea, now West Papua or Irian Jaya, to trek north to the far side of the island. The journey (450 miles, as a crow flies) across unmapped territory took seven months; three Muyu porters died. Near both coasts, the expedition met villagers who invited them to observe rituals and live with them. In the interior, all villagers kept them at bay, and they depended on air lifts from Hollandia for food and supplies. They climbed above 10,000 feet, built 14 bridges, and fought leeches and malaria. The narrator focuses on describing Stone Age savages, headhunters, and cannibals. Written by
Watching "Le ciel et la boue" (called "The Sky Above, The Mud Below" in English), I got the feeling that it may have been one of the last chances that the documentary makers had to do this; after all, how many indigenous cultures still live their traditional ways? At times, the filmmakers use some pre-conscious terms such as "savage" and "civilization", but we understand that they aren't actually trying to attack the people on whom they're focusing.
I will say that the parts about airplanes flying supplies in gave me the impression that the filmmakers wimped out sometimes. But overall, the documentary is a fascinating look at cultures which may not have survived much longer. I recommend it.
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