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The Valley (Obscured by Clouds) (1972)
"La vallée" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  April 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 676 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 17 critic

Filmmaker Barbet Schroeder explores themes of sexual freedom, mind alteration, and pursuit of paradise against the backdrop of an early 70's encounter with the Mapuga rain forest tribe in upland New Guinea.



(screenplay), (dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Valley (Obscured by Clouds) (1972)

The Valley (Obscured by Clouds) (1972) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Credited cast:
Jérôme Beauvarlet ...
Monique Giraudy ...
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ...
Valérie Lagrange ...
Bulle Ogier ...


Viviane, a French Consul's wife, is in New Guinea to find exotic feathers for export to Paris. She encounters four European travelers who are en route to "La Vallée": The Valley, high in the Guinean mountains, is shown on maps as 'Obscured by Clouds' and is beyond their previous experiences. Viviane joins their trek to find rare feathers and soon becomes entwined in their journey. Their extended stay with the Mapuga tribe brings a denouement between western and indigenous values before their final quest toward the 'Valley of the Gods'. Written by Neal Wells <>

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Plot Keywords:

tribe | new guinea | feather | map | mountain | See more »




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Release Date:

April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vallée  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The soundtrack to this film was released as the Pink Floyd album "Obscured By Clouds". See more »


Edited into Hell of the Living Dead (1980) See more »


Burning Bridges
Written by Pink Floyd
Performed by Pink Floyd
See more »

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User Reviews

Tribal Gatherings
19 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Barbet Schroeder is in danger of becoming a legend in his own lifetime. From this rather beautiful hippie opus, to Single White Female and more recently, an episode of Mad Men, this is a man with no respect for boundaries. The main character in this 1971 film is Vivian (Bulle Ogier), a collector of rare feathers which she sells in a posh boutique. While on holiday in New Guinea she joins a hippie expedition, hoping to add more fluff to her collection. She's the wife of a diplomat, bourgeois, liberal and a 'sport' as she puts it. The primary aim of the trek is to locate a (possibly mythical) paradisaical valley way over yonder, kind of like Richard's pursuit of the perfect beach in the Alex Garland novel, but with a more metaphysical bent.

It's the journey not the arrival that grabs and cameraman Nestor Almendros, whose credits include Malick's Days of Heaven, really comes to the fore as his images compensate for any narrative slack. Eventually the group encounter the isolated but photogenic Magupa tribe, just about to start an incredible festival - cue more stunning images. That's about as dramatic as it gets - there's no manufactured events, just the group interacting with the natives and each other. For Vivian the journey becomes a voyage of self-discovery aided by some local hallucinogenics, though her newly-found freedom is tested both physically and philosophically by her lover as they approach their destination. By this time dialogue is sparse as the film slips into National Geographic mode. But it's Ogier who really keeps things together here, offering a riveting portrayal of a woman in transition. There's some discourse on the relative merits of the contrasting civilisations, and questions which throw doubt on the hippies belief in the superiority of the 'natural' way of life. Pink Floyd contribute the soundtrack (Obscured by Clouds) but its barely audible aside from the closing credits.

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