Robert Gardner Tribute


In honor of preeminent filmmaker Robert Gardner, who died on June 21, 2014, this year’s retrospective screening will feature Gardner’s iconic ethnographic film Dead Birds (1964, 85 min). Made 50 years ago, it focuses on the Dani people of the Grand Valley of the Baliem in the mountains of West Papua, and their elaborate system of ritual warfare and revenge.  The program will also screen the New York premiere of Gardner’s last film, Dead Birds Re-encountered (2013, 46 min), chronicling his 1989 return to revisit the Dani he had met decades earlier and to share the film he had made about them.

The screenings will be followed by discussion of Gardner’s work and influence with acclaimed photographer Susan Meiselas, who traveled with and photographed Gardner on his return trip to New Guinea and who wrote Encounters with the Dani (2003), showing the traces of Dani encounters over six decades.

Photo Caption: Filmmaker Robert Gardner shows some of the Dani who participated in his film Dead Birds, 27 years after it was made, Baliem Valley, 1989. Photograher: Susan Meiselas

Documentary Educational Resources (DER) has generously provided the prints for Dead Birds and Dead Birds Re-encountered.