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Filmography - Area Studies: South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania: New Zealand, Papua New Guinea

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of January 2017

Area Studies: New Zealand, Papua New Guinea

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (

Note: Vietnam War and War on Terror (in Afghanistan) are addressed in specific filmographies on those topics. Feature films are also excluded from this list with the exception of a few that depict important historical events that aren’t well covered by documentaries (e.g. The Killing Fields).



New Zealand

Assume Nothing. 2009. 1 streaming video (80 min.). Artistic expression of alternatively gendered people's lives reveals a captivating world where gender cannot be defined as simply male or female. This program features New Zealand photographer Rebecca Swan and her images for Assume Nothing, a book that explores the beauty and complexity of gender identity. Four of Swan's subjects speak candidly about their own gender identities and experiences, focusing on their creative expression as artists: Mani, born an intersex child who was raised as a girl by her parents from a very young age; Ema, a Maori woman who identifies strongly with elements of both the female and male genders; Jack, a transgender poet who underwent surgery to transition physically from female to male; and Shigeyuki, an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist who is a Samoan-Japanese Fa'a fafine, who was born in a man's body but blessed with the spirit of a woman (and a man). Contains explicit language and imagery. Streaming video

Black and white. 2006. 1 videodisc (17 min.). "In a small New Zealand hospital in 1953, the birth of Mani Bruce Mitchell caused a mild pandemonium.  Fifty years later, Black and White interweaves the stories of this intersex activist and the acclaimed photographer Rebecca Swan, exploring their potent creative collaboration.  This fascinating documentary introduces viewers to notions of fluid gender identity, challenging the rigid categories of 'male' and 'female'."--Container. DVD 2603

The Man Who Moved the Mountains. 1 streaming video (50 min.). The map of the Earth is a flat picture of the Earth's surface; this BBC Horizon program presents the story of how Harold Wellman changed that picture. Hired by the New Zealand Geological Survey to map the underlying bedrock of the Southern Alps region, he noticed that there were invariably only two kinds of rock, granite and schist. His search for the boundary between the two led to the discovery of the longest straight line on Earth and a radical new theory that describes the Earth's surface and permits geophysicists to explain how mountains are built, and why they are such a prominent feature of the landscape. Streaming video

The Muvver Tongue. 1986. 1 streaming video (59 min.). In the 19th century, English spread throughout the British Empire-but which English? This classic PBS program traces the roots of white Commonwealth English to Cockney, the language of London's working class. Explaining the influence of Cockney on modern, standardized speech, the program shows how, in fact, the accents of BBC English are gradually becoming modified by Cockney speech characteristics like the glottal stop. Resemblances between the accents of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the Falkland Islands are also explored, highlighting major aspects of the colonial language-along with traces of aboriginal tongues nearly eclipsed by English. Streaming video

Wholphin. 2007. 2 videodiscs (174 min.). A collection of live and animated short films and documentaries. This issue of Wholphin features Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard lying to one another; the FBI mistaking an artist for a bioterrorist; Scottish 9 year olds singing Satan Rocks at their country fair; an episode of the Russian Married... with Children re-scripted; an Academy Award nominated short; nuns; retired chimpanzees; plaster casters; and films from France, Morocco, New Zealand and the U.K. DVD 2044

Why Women Count: Video Clip Collection Southeast Asia, Pacific, Caribbean, Latin America. 2008. 1 videodisc and 1 streaming video (56 min.). Filmed in 11 countries, this collection of video segments spotlights Lydia Cacho, Casimira Rodriguez, and 14 other women who are making a difference in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Latin America. DVD 4629. Streaming video

The Worst Offenders: Can They Change? 2010. 1 streaming video (47 min.). Those who prey upon children for sex have committed crimes so abhorrent that most of us would like to lock them away for life. But in some cases, an offender can be rehabilitated-and, in the process, provide insight into the predator's mind. This program goes inside a pedophile's distorted thought patterns while showing how expert psychological treatment, combined with blunt feedback from fellow offenders, can help bring such criminals out of denial and curb their deviant behavior. Following a professional actor who, using real criminal profiles, takes on the psyche of a child sex offender, the film examines Rolleston Prison's groundbreaking Kia Marama rehabilitation unit in Christchurch, New Zealand. Streaming video


Papua New Guinea

Bridewealth for a goddess. Ethnographic video online. 2000. 1 streaming video (72 min.). A documentary filmed in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea during the Kawelka tribal group's last performance of the ritual for the fertility goddess, Amb Kor. Streaming video;764135

The cola conquest a trilogy. Document collection. 2004. 1 videodisc (153 min.). The Big Sell: Through a century of image-making with master artists - including the creation of our modern version of Santa - Coke sheds its patent medicine image to become first the drink for young moderns, and finally the most recognized brand name on earth. Coke's success spawns numerous imitations, including Pepsi, which is just another cola until it targets the "Pepsi Generation." With Pepsi's launch of the Michael Jackson campaign, the Cola Wars explode. -- Cola War and Peace: During World War II, Coca-Cola becomes an essential morale booster for the troops and a worldwide symbol of the American way of life. As the Cold War turns frigid, former Pepsi lawyer, Richard Nixon, gives Pepsi a decade-plus jump on Coke behind the Iron Curtain. But when the Berlin Wall falls, Coca-Cola is there passing out "the taste of freedom." Back at home, Coca-Cola plays a significant role in the American Civil Rights movement and offers a Vietnam War-weary nation the ultimate commercial for world peace. -- Coca-Colonization: Tea spills in China, wine in France and blood in Guatemala, as Coca-Cola teaches the world to acquire a taste for "The Real Thing." But as Coke - and Pepsi - are busy abroad conquering new markets, upstart colas are ripping at their heels back home. From the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the "Coca-Cola Olympics" in Atlanta, we see the globalization of American pop culture and corporate influence on the souls of nations. DVD 6019

Dead birds. Ethnographic video online. 1964. 1 streaming video (85 min.). Describes a photographic and ethnographic study which was sponsored by the Peabody Museum from Feb. 1961 to Nov. 1963 of the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem, high in the mountains of West New Guinea. Streaming video;764168

First contact. The Highlands trilogy: Highlands trilogy. 2007. 1 videodisc (53 min.). Recounts the discovery of a flourishing native population in the interior highlands of New Guinea in 1930 in what had been thought to be an uninhabited area. Inhabitants of the region and surviving members of the Leahy brothers' gold prospecting party recount their astonishment at this unforeseen meeting. Includes still photographs taken by a member of the expedition and contemporary footage of the island's terrain. DVD 6871

Gogodala: a cultural revival? Ethnographic video online. 1983. 1 streaming video (58 min.). The Gogadala, like other peoples of the swampy lowlands of western Papua New Guinea, traditionally produced magnificent carvings for use in ceremonies. By the 1930s, the work of Christian missionaries and Papuan evangelists had resulted in mass burnings of ritual carvings and the suppression of traditional ceremonies. In the 1970s there were attempts to revive the culture of the Gogodala, and a long-house was completed and officially opened as the Gogadala Cultural Centre. Streaming video;764230

Karl Heider. Ethnographic video online. 2008. 1 streaming video (95 min.). "Dani sweet potatoes" (19 min.) was shot in 1963 by Karl G. Heider, a member of the Harvard Peabody Expedition as part of an ethnographic study of the Grand Valley Dani. The film follows the highly sophisticated process of sweet potato horticulture developed by the Grand Valley Dani in West New Guinea. "Dani houses" (16 min.) was filmed in 1963 by Karl Heider, a member of the Harvard-Peabody Expedition, this documentary film observes both round and square house construction techniques of the Grand Valley Dani, a Papual culture of Irian Jaya. It shows how the ground is cleared, walls are made from boards, poles are lashed together, and a roof is thatched. Streaming video;764165

Margaret Mead: a portrait by a friend. Ethnographic video online. 2007. 1 streaming video (30 min.). French filmmaker Jean Rouch interviews AMNH anthropologist Margaret Mead. Mead speaks about her personal history, her family, her influences and mentors, and her field work in Bali, New Guinea, and Manus (also known as Great Admiralty Island). Mead and Rouch walk through the AMNH Hall of Pacific Peoples, and she discusses her theories about museum exhibits. They also visit the Dept. of Anthropology specimen storage area. Towards the conclusion of her interview, Mead considers the history of anthropology and speculates on its future role in building new cultures. Streaming video;764328

Margaret Mead: Coming of Age. 1990. 1 streaming video (52 min.). Although her fieldwork has been criticized, Margaret Mead was one of the foremost fieldworkers of her day. In the United States, Bali, and New Guinea, she examined child development, sex, and temperament to see what role society plays in making people what they are. She emphasized that humans arrange their social worlds in many different ways, and that qualitative judgments cannot be made between them. Streaming video

Noirs et blancs en couleur = Black and white in color. Classic collection (Chicago, Ill.): Classic collection (Chicago, Ill.). 2003. 1 videodisc (92 min.). Black and white in color: A French colony in Africa's Ivory Coast discovers months after the fact that World War I has begun. Spurred on by a capricious patriotism, they figure they'll do their part by attacking the German colony up the river. After all, they have six rifles, and one of them is an automatic. So off to war they march -- or rather, their servants do, carrying the white folk on palanquins. They soon stop for a lovely picnic. When machine gun fire is heard in the distance, they run back to the safety of the colony. All goes well until a young geographer becomes the key strategist for the French, working with the local tribal chief and turning the old colonial social hierarchy on its head. The sky above, the mud below: Long before PBS, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel made documentaries ubiquitous, films like this seminal if straightforward work were only available via local art house theaters. One of the earliest looks into native life on Papua New Guinea, this documentary follows a group of Europeans on a seven-month trek to bisect the island. During the perilous expedition (450 miles, as a crow flies) through jungle and across high altitudes, the group encounters tribes of headhunters and cannibals, observing and filming their rituals and ceremonies. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7063

Out of Eden. 2004. 1 streaming video (55 min.). In Papua New Guinea, a local man asked Jared Diamond a question that penetrates to the very heart of the issue of global inequality: Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo [material goods], but we black people had little cargo of our own?In this program, Diamond traces the trail of history and proposes that a society's potential for advanced development lies not in race or creed or even experience, but in access to domesticated animals and cultivated plants-a necessary precondition that failed to arise in Papua New Guinea but appeared in Europe in abundance. A part of the series Guns, Germs, and Steel. Streaming video

Tanim: Instituting Democracy in Tribal Papua New Guinea. 2003. 1 streaming video (51 min.). Democratic political principles have finally reached the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Tanim-to changeor to turn-is the story of how the Apulin people, the ruling tribe of Enga province, are struggling to balance this alien electoral system, with all its implicit values and practices, with the secure familiarity of their traditional approaches to rule, land ownership, and systems of compensation. Change has come, and the Apulins must now turn their society in a new direction if they are to survive in their ancestral lands. (color). Streaming video

Tighten the drums: self decoration among the Enga. Ethnographic video online. 2004. 1 streaming video (44 min.). "In the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the Enga people have developed the art of body decoration as a visual language. Using earth paints, tree oils, bird plumes, human hair, and a variety of plants, the Enga turn the body into a medium for an expressive and dramatic symbolism. This film shows the diverse forms of body art in both daily life and ritual in Enga village society"--Case. Streaming video;763971