Great collections have formed the basis of DER's acquisition and distribution strategy since our founding in 1968 when we introduced the exemplary !Kung Bushmen films of John Marshall and the groundbreaking Yanomamo films by Timothy Asch. Since that time we have continued to see the value in acquiring important filmmakers entire oeuvre, such as the works of Robert Gardner or the Netsilik Eskimo films produced in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada.
Now, in order to make these and other titles more accessible and affordable to our customers we are introducing collections of titles that will resonate in ways that will provide a richer and more informative viewing experience.
The Highlands Trilogy
by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson
color, 5hrs 50 min, 2005
“...a documentary classsic and one of the great achievements of Australian cinema. It comes as close to perfection as any work by Australian filmakers... a work of art as well as a dazzling exercise in anthropology and journalism.” — Neil Jillett, Melbourne Age
Set in the Papua New Guinea Highlands and shot over ten years, these three stunning, critically acclaimed documentaries have won 30 national and international awards, including an Academy Award nomination for First Contact. All three won the Grand Prix at France's prestigious Festival Cinema du Reel, and AFI awards for Best Documentary.
This Special Edition DVD set offers the complete trilogy at a special rate exclusively through DER and contains the individual films, plus filmmaker interviews and ABC broadcast reviews of each film. For more information about the The Highlands Trilogy, visit the series page.
The Afflictions Series
by Robert Lemelson
color, 3hrs, 2mins, 2010/2011
Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia is a six part series, shot over the course of 12 years in Bali and Java, Indonesia, as a result of longitudinal ethnographic fieldwork conducted by psychological anthropologist Robert Lemelson, exploring the relationship between culture, mental illness and personal experience.
For more information on these volumes or to purchase any individually, visit the series page.
The Afflictions Series, Volume 1: Psychotic Disorders
by Robert Lemelson
color, 1hr, 22mins, 2010/2011
The Afflictions Series, Volume 2: Neuropsychiatric Disorders
by Robert Lemelson
color, 1hr 40mins, 2010/2011
Alaskan Eskimo Series
produced by Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling
color, 5hrs 11mins, 1972-1988
Filmmakers Sarah Elder and Len Kamerling produced these films jointly with village councils. Since 1974, the Alaska Native Heritage Film Project has pioneered a community-based approach to producing cultural films in which the film's subjects play a central role in determining the production's themes and direction.
This technique was developed to ensure authentic Alaskan Eskimo material and point of view. For more information, visit the series page.
This series of award-winning films is now being offered at a special rate in one complete collection.
Diary of a Maasai Village Series
A five part series by Melissa Llelewyn-Davies
Produced by British Broadcasting Corporation
color, 4hrs 10min, 1985
This series of five films by Melissa Llelewyn-Davies looks at daily life among the Maasai. The films are presented as a diary of a 7-week visit to a single village. The structure is episodic and the content dependent on various events or stories, some of which are developed through more than one film. The tapes can be used independently or together, to give an in-depth sense of Maasai life.
For more information on these films, or to purchase any individually, visit the series page.
A three part series directed by Fadwa El Guindi
color, 1hr 43mins , 1986-2005
Fadwa El Guindi is currently Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Qatar; founding director and research anthropologist at El Nil Research in Los Angeles; and Co-Editor of the new social science journal Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life. In addition to her innovative, award-winning films, she is widely published and gives lectures and workshops internationally on Arab and Muslim Americans. Her renowned expertise on the Middle East has been sought by the media, the UN, and the US government.
Visit the series page.
Faces of Change Collection
A twenty-six part series by George Chang, Richard Chen, Norman Miller, Frank Tsai, David Hancock, Louis Dupree, Herb Di Gioia, David MacDougall, James Blue, Hubert Smith and Neil Reichline.
color, 10hrs 45mins , 1979-1983
This revolutionary series of 26 films, funded by the National Science Foundation, produced by Norman Miller and documented by some of the finest ethnographic filmmakers of our time, is now available through D.E.R. The films examine 5 cultures selected for the diversity of their geographic location: starting with the China Coast at sea level and moving up to Taiwan, then to Afghanistan, Kenya and finally to the mountains of Bolivia. Each location is examined through 5 themes: Rural Society, Education, Rural Economy, Women and Beliefs. Visit the series page.
The series is comprised of 26 films:
China Coast | China Coast Fishing | Hoy Fok and the Island School | The Island Fishpond |
Island in the China Sea | Three Island Women
Taiwan | Chinese Farm Wife | People are Many, Fields are Small | A Rural Cooperative |
They Call Him "Ah Kung" | Wet Culture Rice
Afghanistan | Afghan Nomads: The Maldar | An Afghan Village | Afghan Women | Naim and Jabar |
Kenya | Boran Herdsmen | Boran Women | Harambee: Pull Together | Kenya Boran I | Kenya Boran II
Bolivia | Andean Women | The Children Know | Magic and Catholicism | Potato Planters |
The Spirit Possession of Alejandro Mamani | Viracocha
Three Non-Fiction Films by Robert Gardner
color, 4hrs 18mins, 1964-2008
Robert Gardner was the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University from 1957 to 1997. He is an internationally renowned filmmaker and author whose works have entered the permanent canon of non-fiction filmmaking. This collection contains newly released Special Editions of his three most prominent films:
Dead Birds (1963) A lyric account of the Dugum Dani, a Stone Age society at one time living an isolated existence in the Highlands of the former Netherlands New Guinea (Gardner was the leader of the Peabody Museum-sponsored expedition to study the Dani in 1961-62).
Rivers of Sand (1974) A social commentary on the Hamar people of southwestern Ethiopia.
Forest of Bliss (1985) A cinematic essay on the ancient city of Benares, India, which explores the ceremonies, rituals, and industries associated with death and regeneration.
The Greek Series
A series of six films by Colette Piault
color, 4hrs 39mins, 1980-1996
Filmed through the 1970s and 80s, these six films follow different aspects of life in Ano Ravenia, a mountain village in Greece which has been progressively deserted by its most active population. Within these films, intimate observations of the isolated villagers' daily lives - work, family life, marriage - reveal the profound in the ordinary and everyday. For more information on these films, or to purchase any individually, visit the series page.
The Jero Tapakan Series
A five-part series by Linda Connor, Patsy Asch, and Timothy Asch
color, 2hrs 26mins, 1979-1983
Jero Tapakan, a spirit medium in a small, central Balinese village, consults with a group of clients in her shrinehouse. An introduction precedes the main seance, providing a visual impression of a seance and background information on the medium and her profession. Jero is possessed several times in the course of the seance: first by a protective houseyard deity who demands propitiary offerings that had previously been overlooked; then by the spirit of the petitioner's deceased father, who requests further offerings to ease his path to the other world; and finally by the spirit of the son.
In an emotional scene the son's spirit reveals the cause of his premature death (sorcery) and instructions for his forthcoming cremation. Between each possession the medium converses with her clients, clarifying vague points in the often ambiguous trance speech. For more information on these films, or to purchase any individually, visit the series page.
The series is comprised of three films:
A Balinese Trance Seance & Jero on Jero: A Balinese Trance Seance Observed
The Medium is the Masseuse & Jero Tapakan: Stories from the Life of a Balinese Healer
Releasing the Spirits: A Village Cremation in Bali
The Living Maya Series
by Hubert Smith
color, 3hrs 52 mins, 1985
The Living Maya series documents life in a Yucatan village, focusing on one family, the Colli-Colli, over the course of a year. The films explore the ancient agricultural and religious customs that ground contemporary Maya life in traditional values even as modern Mexico comes to the village. In Maya, Spanish, and English, with English subtitles.
The series is comprised of four films, titled simply Living Maya Program 1-4, each with a running time of 58 minutes.
For more information on these films, or to purchase any individually, visit the series page.
Masters of the Balafon
color, 3hrs 41 min (plus 54 min of extras), 2001-2002
Balafon is the name given in French-speaking West Africa to a xylophone with calabash resonators. This instrument is emblematic of the Senufo people of the Côte d'Ivoire (the former Ivory Coast).
Filmed in long sequences to preserve the integrity of the music and speech of the musicians, this series of four documentaries introduces the audience to the fascinating world of a living musical tradition.
Music of Georgia (Causasus) Series
by Hugo Zemp
color, 1hr 55 mins, 1998-2012
Traditional music of Georgia (the Caucasus) is now internationally renowned and appreciated for the richness and beauty of its polyphonies. While concerts and studio recordings have revealed the diversity of local musical traditions, the films in this series show, for the first time, the performance of three different music styles in the context of rituals and learning. A 3-DVD set, titles available separately. Visit the series page.
Netsilik Eskimo Series
produced in association with the National Film Board of Canada
directed by Quentin Brown
color, 10hrs 30 mins, 1967
Filmed over a period of three years, from summer 1963 to the late winter of 1965, and released in 1967 as a part of the widely used elementary social studies curriculum, Man: A Course of Study, these films reveal the live reality of traditional Eskimo life before the European acculturation.
The Netsilik Eskimos of the Pelly Bay region in the Canadian Arctic had long lived apart from other people and had depended entirely on the land and their own ingenuity to sustain life through the rigors of the Arctic year. All videos are in color, with the natural sounds of the region and of the Eskimos' activities but with no voice other than those of the Eskimos. The effect of this film series is that of a field trip where students can observe Eskimo ways at their leisure and form their own impressions. The pace is unhurried; many of the Eskimo activities are shown in close detail.For more information about the Netsilik Eskimo Series, visit the series page.
This collection comprises the entire series - nine films in twenty-one parts,
listed here in chronological order:
At the Caribou Crossing Place
At the Autumn River Camp
At the Winter Sea Ice Camp
Jigging for Lake Trout
At the Spring Sea Ice Camp
Group Hunting on the Spring Ice
Stalking Seal on the Spring Ice
Building a Kayak
Fishing at the Stone Weir
color, 16hrs 42 min, 1980-81
In an attempt to cut the often esoteric ice of anthropology, PBS released in 1980 the first season of Odyssey, a newly-created series of anthropological documentaries, with a second season in 1981.
DER carries seventeen of the original Odyssey programs from the first and second seasons. The subject matter of these films ranges from archaeological explorations to anthropology, from North America in coastal Georgia's former slave cabins (Other People's Garbage) to the lives of women in a North Indian village (Dadi's Family).
The Odyssey Series contains the following films:
The Ancient Mariners | Ben's Mill | The Chaco Legacy | Dadi's Family | Franz Boas | The Incas | Little Injustices | Maasai Women | Margaret Mead: Taking Note | Maya Lords of the Jungle | Myths and the Moundbuilders | N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman | Ongka's Big Moka | On the Cowboy Trail | Other People's Garbage | Seeking the First Americans | The Three Worlds of Bali
Five Films by Yasuhiro Omori
color, 6hrs 23 min, 1984-2001
Yasuhiro Omori is one of Japan's leading ethnographic filmmakers. Trained as an anthropologist and filmmaker under Jean Rouch, Omori has been documenting cultures around the world on three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa for over twenty years.
His films have received numerous international prizes and been televised in France and Japan. His works are produced and housed at the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan.
DER is pleased to offer these five films by Professor Omori, which document a variety of unique aspects of traditional Japanese culture, at a special collection price.
The Yasuhiro Omori Collection includes the following films:
A Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru | Balinese Requiem | Seven Young Gods of Fortune: Fertility Rite of Dosojin | The Sons of Eboshi | Taki Kudo, Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru
One Man's Journey Series
by Robert Perkins
color, 2hrs 48 mins, 1987-2004
One Man's Journey is a three-part series featuring naturalist/explorer/filmmaker Robert Perkins paddling his canoe through his personal and geographic journeys. All three films were broadcast on WGBH in the winter of 2005.
“Robert Perkins has pushed the envelope of the documentary/essay film, creating works that are both searingly honest and engagingly personable.“ —Phillip Lopate, Filmmaker
Now, all three films are offered together at a special rate in the One Man's Journey Collection.
Visit the series page.
The Ovahimba Years: A Multidisciplinary Ethnographic Study
by Rina Sherman
color, 2hrs 36 mins, 1997-2008
From 1997 to 2004 Rina Sherman lived with the Tjambiru family in the north-western Kunene region of Namibia. Over a period of seven years, she documented the lives of the members of the family, their relatives and friends and creadted an extensive record of their everyday and ritual lives, in text, sound, video and photography.
In 2003, Sherman extended her research to the south-western provinces of Cunene and Namibe in Angola where she documented the lives of the Otjiherero speaking peoples. She is currently processing the data she collected - editing a series of films, establishing a catalogue of photographs and sound recordings, and writing up the years of journals kept in the field. Now available at a discount of 25% off the price of individual purchase. Visit the series page
These films are studies of the devotional practices associated with three major deities of the Hindu pantheon. They were made in the small, historic town of Vishnupur, West Bengal - a town of temples, crafts and markets, the center of an old kingdom, and a place where daily life and worship are closely intertwined.
This collection features a series of films, about Hindu worship - Loving Krishna, about the worship of Krishna and the meaning of devotion; Sons of Shiva, a sustained attempt to film a four-day ceremony concerned with the worship of the God Shiva; and Serpent Mother, about devotion to the Goddess of Snakes and the importance of divine female power in West Bengal Indian life. Visit the series page.
This collection makes all three films available at 20% off the price of individual purchase.
The Primate Series
by Anne Zeller color, 7hrs 09mins
This series compares closely related animals, such as subspecies of the same specie, different species living in similar habitats, and animals of different families, such as monkeys and apes. Single animals are not the focus of attention. Instead, the purpose is to give a comparative view of a number of different primate species living under various conditions in captivity and in the wild.
Many of the films provide long uninterrupted sequences which can be used to study interactions, use of space, facial communication and role behaviors. Some of this is referred to in the narration, and some is left for the viewers to interpret. Visit the series page.
This collection of 11 films is available at a special collection price.
Chimpanzees Today | Five Species | Images From The Field: Baboons | Introduction to the Primates | Lemurs of Madagascar | Macaques | New World Monkeys | Primate / Human Interaction | Primate Patterns II | Sifakas of Madagascar | What Do Primatologists Do?
Sensory Ethnography Lab Series
A multi-part series featuring the work of filmmakers from Harvard University's Sensory Ethnography Lab
color, 3hr 35mins, 2007-2011
DER is pleased to be distributing works from Harvard University's acclaimed new Sensory Ethnography Lab. SEL supports original non-fiction media practices that explore the fabric of human existence through innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnography. The film, video, and other works created in SEL are typically at an angle to the prevailing conventions of documentary and ethnographic film, and attend to the many dimensions of cross-cultural social experience and subjectivity that are inexpressible with words alone.
Experimenting in the interstices of art and anthropology, the works included in DER's SEL series represent an important new addition and expansion to the field of modern visual anthropology. Visit the series page.
by Gary Wortman
color, 2hrs, 2004
The spectacular Wind River Mountain Range of northwest Wyoming was once home to a little known but fascinating band of Shoshone Indians known as the Tuku Dika, or Sheep Eaters. As their name implies, these peoples were among the most successful hunters of North America's wild sheep, the majestic Rocky Mountain "big horns". These magnificent creatures still roam the rugged Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem; however, the tribe that followed them for hundreds of years was relegated to life on the reservation by the turn of the nineteenth century. This four-part series examines the life ways of this ancient band of high mountain Shoshones.
Wood Crafts Series (Les Métiers du Bois)
by Jacqueline Veuve
color, 6hrs, 1987-2008
"Hats off to Jacqueline Veuve for making a major contribution to Swiss cinema at the end of the eighties. In this fresco comprising seven portraits, the images are profound. What common ground is there between the gestures, the words and the hearts of these men? The answer is: a metaphysical relationship between wood and a way of life." — Bertil Galland, 24 heures
A series of short films about traditional wood tradesmen of Switzerland. These films take a close look at the lives and crafts of a group of men who make their living from working with wood, including a cooper, a luthier, a toy-maker, a carpenter and sculptor, a pair of shingle-makers, a turner, and others. For more information, visit the series page.
These films are available individually, or together at the special collection price.
Films included in the Wood Crafts collection:
Armand Rouiller, Sledge-maker | Arnold Golay, Toy-maker | The Bapst Brothers, Carriers | Claude Lebet, Luthier | François Pernet, Carpenter and Sculptor | Joseph Doutaz & Olivier Veuve, Shingle-makers | Marcellin Babey, Turner | Michel Marlétaz, Cooper | Pink Mountain Sand | A Little Corner of Paradise (Un Petit Coin de Paradis)
The Yanomamo Series
by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon
color, 7hrs 8mins, 1968-87
Filmmaker Timothy Asch and anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon collaborated to study and film the Yanomamo Indians. The setting for most of these films is the remote village of Mishimishimabowei-teri, a village whose history and inhabitants Chagnon knew well. Several figures in particular are outstanding: Moawa, a village headman and Dedeheiwa, another headman and the leading shaman
Some of the films in this collection are also available on the Yanomamo Shorts DVD collection, a 2007 re-mastered 2-disc set which also contains eight previously unreleased short Yanomamo films and additional information about the series. Visit the series page.
This collection of 22 films is offered at a special reduced price.
Arrow Game | The Ax Fight | Bride Service | Children's Magical Death | Climbing the Peach Palm | A Father Washes His Children | The Feast | Firewood | Jaguar, a Yanomamo Twin Cycle Myth | Magical Death | A Man and His Wife Weave a Hammock | Man Called Bee: Studying the Yanomamo | Moonblood: A Yanomamo Creation Myth | Myth of Naro, as told by Dedeheiwa | Myth of Naro, as told by Kaobawa | New Tribes Mission | Ocamo is My Town | Tapir Distribution | Tug-of-War, Yanomamo | Weeding the Garden | Yanomamo: A Multidisciplinary Study | Yanomamo of the Orinoco