2012, Thu, May 31

Dead Birds

Presented by Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki

Robert Gardner | Dead Birds, USA 1964, Filmstill | © Robert Gardner, Studio7Arts

Robert Gardner | Dead Birds, USA 1964, Filmstill | © Robert Gardner, Studio7Arts

Seeking a more subjective and humanistic form of documentary film, Robert Gardner — under the auspices of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology — set off to film the Dani people, warrior-farmers in the highlands of New Guinea for his movie “Dead Birds” (USA 1964, 35 mm, 120 min, OV).

Influenced by psychoanalysis, Gardner had come to believe that there could be an anthropology that revealed the meaning of one‘s own life as well as those of its subjects: “I was sure that whatever film I might make about the world outside myself would have to be done with mirrors (as is virtually inevitable in the case of cameras) that also revealed me and my inner world”.