Eccles Centre, British Library
In the Land of the Head Hunters
In 1914, American photographer Edward S. Curtis released the first feature-length, fiction film to star an entirely indigenous cast, In the Land of the Head Hunters, made with the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) people on location in British Columbia. Although a critical success, the film made no money and was quickly lost to the archive.
Based on recent archival research, in 2008 a collaborative team led by Aaron Glass (now at the Bard Graduate Center), Brad Evans (Rutgers), and Andrea Sanborn (of the U’mista Cultural Centre in BC) oversaw a new restoration of the film that returned the film’s original title, title cards, long-missing footage, colour tinting, initial publicity graphics, and original musical score—now thought to be the earliest extant original feature-length film score in America. The history of the film and recent restoration project are documented at http://www.curtisfilm.rutgers.edu. The trailer for the restored film can be viewed here.
Marking the centenary of the film’s release, restoration co-producer Brad Evans, will introduce this special screening, complete with the original score.
This event is sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.