Savage Memory
A Founding Father of Anthropology and His Studies in Papua New Guinea

Sly Productions
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Ngat is Dead: Studying Mortuary Traditions
What do anthropologists mean when they claim to study the cultural traditions of others by participating in them? This film follows the Dutch anthropologist Ton Otto, who has been adopted by a family on Baluan Island in Papua New Guinea. Due to the death of his adoptive father, he has…
Papa Bilong Chimbu
In 1937 a young missionary, Father John Nilles, arrived in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. There he would stay for the next 54 years, living with the people of Chimbu, learning their language and way of life, introducing them to his God and Western culture. More than just a…
Taking Pictures
Australia's most internationally renowned documentarists (Kildea, O'Rourke, Connolly/Robin Anderson) are part of a group of expatriates who honed their documentary filmcraft while residents of Papua New Guinea. Their films, brimming with wit and character, capture the energy and contradictions of a country in transition from a backward colony, to a…
Highlands Trilogy
Set in the Papua New Guinea Highlands and shot over ten years, these three stunning, critically acclaimed documentaries have won 30 national and international awards, including an Academy Award nomination for First Contact. All three won the Grand Prix at France's prestigious Festival Cinema du Reel, and AFI awards for…
The Red Bowmen
Every year, a ritual known as ida is performed by the Umeda people, who inhabit the dense primary forest of the Waina-Sawanda district of West Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Ida, the central social and cultural drama of the Umeda, is a fertility ritual, in which a dominant theme is the…
Fambul Tok
Seven years after the last bullet was fired, a decade of brutal fighting in Sierra Leone finds resolution as people come together to talk around traditional village bonfires. Some had perpetrated terrible crimes against friends or family. Some had faced horrible losses: loved ones murdered, limbs severed. But as they…
Seasons of Migration
Seasons of Migration (56 min) is a documentary about Sophilene Cheam Shapiro's four part classical Cambodian dance about the stages of culture shock. It blends the dance with commentary about the music and choreography, and personal stories of emigration and culture shock from Cambodian-American residents of Long Beach, California (the…
Pig Tusks and Paper Money
There are two currencies in Papua New Guinea. The modern cash economy and traditional economies using shell money, banana leaf bundles and pig tusks. People need both, but there exists no legitimate system of exchange between the two. Henry Tokabak dreams of creating a bank where people can exchange their…
Man Without Pigs
John Waiko is the first Papua New Guinean to reach the status of professor. After receiving his doctorate from the Australian National University he traveled back to his home village of Tabara to celebrate the achievement with his own people of the Binandere clan. although John has a history of…
My Father, My Country
In 1938 three Australian patrol officers - Jim Taylor, John Black and Pat Walsh - set off on an epic journey into the unexplored highlands of Papua New Guinea. Their purpose: to make contact with "stone age" tribes who knew nothing of the outside world and explain to them that…
Margaret Mead: Portrait by a Friend
Part of the Series: Anthropology 101 Collection
Jean Rouch filmed this loving and humorous portrait of anthropologist and filmmaker Margaret Mead in September 1977 while he was a guest of the first Margaret Mead Film Festival. As both a friend and colleague, Rouch reveals a glimpse of the legendary Mead in her later years. (Fellow filmmaker John…
Malagan Labadama: A Tribute to Buk-Buk
The Melanesian island of New Ireland is a province of Papua New Guinea and lies in the Bismarck Archipelago four hundred miles northeast of New Guinea. For the people of the Mandak region of New Ireland the most dramatic and complex ceremonial events in their community are those surrounding death.…