# 24465


[NEW GUINEA: EARLY FILM FOOTAGE] Papua and Kalabahai : Weird haunts of strange people. A FitzPatrick Travel Talk.

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[Beverly Hills, CA : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1933]. From the series Traveltalks : The Voice of the Globe. One reel of 16 mm film (possibly a copy print?) with approximately 8 mins 30 secs of footage, in an Eastman Kodak Company metal can, later (early 1970s) printed label to front of the secondhand and collectable 16 mm film dealer Movie Wonderland (Hollywood), annotated ‘Traveltalks, B/W S.O.F. [i.e. the footage was shot on a Sound on Film camera] Papua and Kalabahai’; from The Papuan Collection of Charles Fletcher (Melbourne), and accompanied by his bookplate.

Early film footage of indigenous people of Port Morseby, Papua – “gateway to the largest unexplored land on earth” – and Kalabahai, on Alor Island in the Lesser Sunda Islands in the Dutch East Indies. This newsreel was one of James A. FitzPatrick’s popular Traveltalks series, shown in North American and Australian picture theatres in the 1930s and 40s. Under contract with MGM FitzPatrick shot his one-reel travelogues in locations all around the world, producing them at the rate of one a month.

Even for its time, the racism inherent in FitzPatrick’s spoken narration is extreme. The footage of Papua and Kalabahai has been digitised by the Periscope Film LLC Archive, and can be viewed on Youtube here.