Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Explorer/filmmakers Andre Roosevelt and Armand Denis served up their first all-talking documentary with 1932's Kriss. The title refers to a Malayan dagger, the weapon of preference in a Balinese tribal community. The "kriss" is brought into play during the film's fabricated storyline, wherein a native chieftain and his mistress are killed by the woman's husband. This portion of the film is far less interesting than the straight documentary footage, wherein several customs and traditions of the Balinese are captured on celluloid for the first time. According to the film's publicity packet, the Roosevelt-Denis expedition spent 15 months in the making of Kriss, though thanks to prudent production methods the entire film came well within its $50,000 budget.