Savage Memory

'Fascinating viewing...'Savage Memory' carefully peels apart the layers of scientific intent and cultural assumptions...As a study of how the spirits of the dead walk with us in life, "Savage Memory" strikes interesting parallels between the islanders and us.'

-Ty Burr, Boston Globe

A highly nuanced portrait of one of the greatest and most significant anthropologists of all time....This is an important film that should be viewed by all anthropologists, not just to learn new things about Malinowski but also for deeper insights into the profession and the whole enterprise of anthropological fieldwork.

-Peter S. Allen, American Anthropologist Journal

In 1915, Bronislaw Malinowski set out to document the 'exotic' practices of a small group of islanders off the coast of Papua New Guinea. With extensive data on sex, magic and spirits of the dead, his work would set the stage for anthropologists for decades to come and bring him fame as one of the founding fathers of anthropology. Four generations and almost one hundred years later, his great grandson sets out to Papua New Guinea to piece together the story of this legendary figure and to unravel the controversial legacy he left behind - within the field of anthropology, within his own family and among the descendants of the people he studied in New Guinea. An exploration of history, memory and legacy, Savage Memory asks viewers to question how we remember our dead.