Dead Birds

Dead Birds is a 1963 American documentary film by Robert Gardner (1925–2014) about the ritual warfare cycle of the Dugum Dani people who live in the Baliem Valley in present-day Irian Jaya province (also known as Papua province) on the western half of the island of New Guinea that is part of present-day Indonesia. The film presents footage of battles between the Willihiman-Wallalua clan and the Wittaia clan with scenes of the funeral of a small boy killed by a raiding party, the women's work that goes on while battles continue, and the wait for enemy to appear. In 1964 the film received the Grand Prize "Marzocco d'Oro" at the 5th Festival dei Popoli rassegna internazionale del film etnografico e sociologico ("Festival of the Peoples International Film Festival") in Florence, Italy, the Robert J. Flaherty Award given by the City College of New York, and was a featured film at the Melbourne Film Festival (now Melbourne International Film Festival). In 1998, Dead Birds was included in the annual selection of 25 motion pictures added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and recommended for preservation. Dead Birds has come to hold canonical status among ethnographic films.