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 »
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
When I was growing up I imagined adventurers to be fearless daredevils who travelled into unknown lands by themselves. Boy was I wrong. Apparently the only people who could afford to travel in the older days were rich society men who you can bet would never carry anything by themselves. This documentary was the academy award in 1960, but when viewed by today's standards looks like it is full of a bunch of whimps. The "adventurers" never lift a finger themselves and when any sort of danger arrives they radio for help. Having supplies airlifted to you at the drop of a dime isn't very impressive if you ask me.
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