Length:  52 minutes
Date:  1993
Genre:  Expository
Language:  Not available
Grade level: 9-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color

Arrows Against the Wind

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The Dani and the Asmat come face to face with the modern world in Irian Jaya.

Arrows Against the Wind

West Papua, also known as Irian Jaya, is the 'Amazon of Asia.' It is a land of vast jungles and tropical rainforests where, for 25,000 years, numerous indigenous tribes have lived in spiritual harmony with the land. Filmed secretly in Irian Jaya, this documentary is the story of the rich life of two tribes, the Dani and Asmat. It is also the story of their social, political and environmental upheaval.

In 1963, Indonesia invaded Irian Jaya, opening the land up for development and at the same time banning all international observers.
While the Dani's future is threatened by Indonesia's assimilation program, the Asmat tribe has faced the destructive invasion of their land, for the forests contain valuable resources to be exploited.

The indigenous tribes of Irian Jaya have been rendered expendable by multinational concerns and the Indonesian government. Around the globe, indigenous cultures and pristine environments are losing their battle to survive.

ARROWS AGAINST THE WIND is an emotionally moving production and cautions us to accurately assess the risks of development.

No classroom resources available.

No transcript available.

'Loaded with vivid images and rare archival footage.' The London Times

'A unique and provocative examination of colonialism and humanity's relationship with nature. With stunning visual acuity, this video documents the tragic social and environmental consequences when a natural relationship becomes unbalanced... This important documentary clearly illustrates the inter-connection between political, social, and environmental actions. Bound to be a good discussion starter, it is highly recommended, especially for high school and academic library collections.' **** Video Rating Guide for Libraries

'This is a film that needs to be seen by students and the general public alike...Arrows in the Wind would make a fine classroom illustration of the problems of post-colonial politics and of development, and I heartily encourage my colleagues to use it as such...Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of development, vanishing cultures, post-colonial studies, and Indonesian/Oceania studies, as well as general audiences.' Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver, Anthropology Review Database


Silver Apple, National Educational Film and Video Festival
Finalist, Birmingham International Educational Film Festival
Vermont International Film Festival
Dreamspeakers Festival


Main credits

Groome, Tracey (film director)
Groome, Tracey (film producer)
Groome, Tracey (screenwriter)
Thompson, Liz (screenwriter)
MacKenzie, Patrick (narrator)

Other credits

Cinematographer, Joel Peterson; editor, Greg Miller; scored music, Felix Davies.

Distributor credits

Tracey Groome

Tracey Groome

Docuseek2 subjects

Cultural Anthropology
Papua New Guinea
Asian Studies
Environmental Justice
Forests and Rainforests
Human Rights
Indigenous Studies
Global / International Studies
Environmental Justice
Social Studies

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Developing World
Forests and Rainforests
Human Rights
Indigenous Peoples
International Studies
Pacific Studies
Social Justice
Social Studies


Dani, Asmat, Irian Jaya, Asia, West Papua, jungles, tropical rainforest; "Arrows Against the Wind"; Bullfrog Films

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