The Sky Above, the Mud Below (1961)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Anthropology  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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The relatively unsung French documentary filmmaker Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau could, in later years, proudly point to one masterpiece in his manifest. Gaisseau's The Sky Above, the Mud Below is a brilliant, full-color study of life among the natives of Dutch New Guinea, as witnessed by a group of Gallic explorers. The English narration by William Peacock superbly complements the vivid images captured by Gaisseau's unobtrusive camera. In addition to casting light upon the primitive traditions of the tribesmen, the film also showcases several rare animal and aviary specimens. The Sky Above, the Mud Below won the 1962 Academy Award for "best documentary feature."



expedition, exploration, headhunter [cannibal], indigenous-peoples, island, jungle, Pacific-Ocean, primitive, ritual